H. B. 4008
(By Delegate Staggers)
[Introduced January 12, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-5X-1, §16-5X-2 and §16-5X-3, all relating to a requirement that physicians and other licensed prescribers offer the drug Naloxone to their patients who are prescribed opiates for chronic pain or patients who are engaged in methadone or suboxone treatment programs in order that the medication be readily available in the event of an accidental overdose and, therefore, lifesaving; education of patient and family or caregivers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-5X-1, §16-5X-2 and §16-5X-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5X. OFFER OF EMERGENCY AID MEDICATION TO PATIENTS PRESCRIBED OPIATES.
§16-5X-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Offer of Emergency Aid Medication to Patients Prescribed Opiates”.
§16-5X-2. Purpose and objectives.
(a) The purpose of this article is to prevent deaths in circumstances involving patients who have accidently overdosed on prescribed opioid medications.
(b) By offering the drug Naloxone to patients who are prescribed opiates, the medication can be made available to patients and their families and caregivers, who are often circumstantially best equipped to serve as first responders, in the event of an accidental overdose.
© Prescribers are required to offer a prescription for Naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdose, to patients who are prescribed opiates for chronic pain or as part of a methadone or suboxone treatment program.
(d) Prescribers are required to make available or provide patients and their families or caregivers with the necessary education and information regarding the proper use of Naloxone.
§16-5X-3. Prescriber responsibility.
(a) All individuals currently licensed and authorized by this state to prescribe prescription drugs in the course of their professional practice shall offer to patients, to whom they also prescribe opiates for chronic pain or Which patients are engaged in methadone or suboxone treatment programs, a prescription for the drug Naloxone.
(b) All individuals required to offer the prescription drug Naloxone to their patients under this section shall make information and education available to patients and their family members or caregivers on the beneficial and proper use of Naloxone. When a prescription is written to the patient for Naloxone, the education component of this subsection, offered both to the patient and his or her family or caregiver, is required as a condition of obtaining the prescription.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prevent deaths caused by accidental opiate overdose by requiring prescribers to offer a prescription of the medication Naloxone to patients for whom opioids are prescribed and by requiring that information and education on Naloxone’s beneficial and proper use be made available or be provided to patients, family members and caregivers.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.