dependency; confidentiality of same.
(a) In order to encourage voluntary reporting of alcohol or other chemical dependency impairment and in recognition of the fact that alcoholism and chemical dependency are illnesses, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician or other licensee or registrant or the board may enter into a voluntary agreement with the board reporting his or her participation in an alcohol or chemical dependency treatment program or reporting an alcohol or chemical dependency impairment to the board and seek treatment for his or her dependency. Pursuant to said agreement, the board shall impose limitations on the practice of said pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other licensee or registrant of the board.
(b) Any voluntary agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection may not be considered a disciplinary action or order by the board and shall not be public information if:
(1) Such voluntary agreement is the result of the pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or other licensee or registrant of the board reporting his or her participation in an alcohol or chemical dependency treatment program or reporting to the board his or her alcohol or chemical dependency impairment and requesting such an agreement for the purpose of seeking treatment; and
(2) The board has not received nor filed any written complaints regarding said pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other licensee or registrant of the board relating to an alcohol or chemical dependency impairment affecting the care and treatment of patients or customers, nor received any reports pursuant to section seven of this article relating to an alcohol or chemical dependency impairment.
(c) If any pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other licensee or registrant enters into a voluntary agreement with the board pursuant to this subsection and then fails to comply with or fulfill the terms of said agreement, the board shall initiate disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section seven of this article.
(d) If the board has not instituted any disciplinary proceedings as provided for in this article, any information received, maintained or developed by the board relating to the alcohol or chemical dependency impairment of any pharmacist or pharmacy technician, other licensee or registrant of the board and any voluntary agreement made pursuant to this subsection shall be confidential and not available for public information, discovery or court subpoena nor for introduction into evidence in any professional liability action or other action for damages arising out of the provision of or failure to provide health care services.
(e) In the board's annual report of its activities to the Legislature required under section eight of this article, the board shall include information regarding the success of the voluntary agreement mechanism established therein: Provided, That in making such report the board shall not disclose any personally identifiable information relating to any pharmacist or other licensee or registrant of the board participating in a voluntary agreement as provided herein.
(f) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, the board may cooperate with and provide documentation of any voluntary agreement entered into pursuant to this subsection to licensing boards in other jurisdictions, as may be appropriate.
(g) Any restrictions on the disclosure of confidential information does not apply to any investigation or proceeding by the board or by a hospital governing board or committee with respect to relevant medical records, while any of the aforesaid are acting within the scope of their authority as stated in law or in the hospital bylaws, rules, regulations or policies and procedures: Provided, That the disclosure of any information pursuant to this provision shall not be considered a waiver of any such privilege in any other proceeding.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session