Senate Bill No. 81
(By Senators Jenkins, Foster and Stollings)
[Originating in the Committee on Health and Human Resources;
reported February 17, 2010.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §16-5W-1, §16-5W-2,
§16-5W-3, §16-5W-4, §16-5W-5, §16-5W-6, §16-5W-7 and §16-5W-8,
all relating to creating the West Virginia Official
Prescription Program Act; requiring prescriptions to be
written on an official tamper-proof prescription pad;
requiring the promulgation of legislative rules; setting forth
the requirements to be included in the rules; setting for
exclusions from the requirements of the West Virginia Official
Prescription Program Act; reporting requirements; and defining
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 §16-5W-1, §16-5W-2,
§16-5W-3, §16-5W-4, §16-5W-5, §16-5W-6, §16-5W-7 and §16-5W-8, all
to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5W. WEST VIRGINIA OFFICIAL PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM ACT.
§16-5W-1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia
Official Prescription Program Act".
§16-5W-2. Legislative findings
(a) Use of fraudulently obtained prescriptions to illegally
obtain prescription drugs is an epidemic. It has few equals for
sheer size, speed of growth, resistance to deterrence, harm to
people from so many strata of society, and large costs to insurers.
Overdoses, deaths and injuries continue growing at an alarming
rate. More than twenty million Americans-nearly seven percent of
the population-were estimated to abuse prescription drugs in 2007,
based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
(b) Prescription drug diversion drains health insurers
nationally of up to $72.5 billion a year, including up to $24.9
billion annually for private insurers. Estimated losses include
insurance schemes, plus the larger hidden costs of treating
patients who develop serious medical problems from abusing the
addictive narcotics they obtained through the swindles.
(c) Federal law now requires tamper resistant prescriptions
for all Medicaid prescriptions, and various states have taken on
the task of implementing document security programs as part of
their efforts to reduce substantially prescription drug fraud.
(d) The State of New York documented Medicaid savings of $140
million directly tied to its secure issuance prescription program during the first year after implementation. It is estimated that
the savings resulting from the reduction in prescription drug fraud
will more than pay for the cost of implementing an official secure
state prescription program in West Virginia within a reasonable
period of time following initial implementation.
As used in this article:
(1) "Board" means the Board of Pharmacy established in article
five, chapter thirty of this code.
(2) "Dispenser" means a person authorized in this state to
distribute to the ultimate user a substance monitored by the
prescription monitoring program, but does not include:
(A) A licensed hospital pharmacy that distributes such
substances for the purposes of inpatient hospital care or the
dispensing of prescriptions for controlled substances at the time
of discharge from such a facility; or
(B) A licensed health care provider who administers such a
substance at the direction of a licensed physician.
(3) "Prescriber" means an individual currently licensed and
authorized by this state to prescribe and administer prescription
drugs in the course of their professional practice. These include,
but are not limited to, allopathic and osteopathic physicians,
physician assistance, optometrists, podiatrists and nurse
practitioners as allowed by law.
(4) "West Virginia Official Prescription Program" means the
program established under section four of this article.
(5) "Program Vendor" means the private contractor or
contractors selected to manage the production and delivery of
official state prescriptions pads.
(6) "West Virginia Official Prescription" means a prescription
pad, which has been authorized and issued by the state for use, and
meets the following criteria:
(A) Prevention of unauthorized copying,
(B) Prevention of erasure or modification; and
(C) An ability to prevent counterfeit prescription pads.
(D) Capable of supporting automated validation through
pharmacy claims processing systems using the official state
prescription control number.
§16-5W-4. Establishment of West Virginia Official Prescription
(a) The board shall establish and maintain an official
prescription program in the state. The board may contract with a
program vendor to establish and maintain the official state
(b) An official West Virginia prescription pad shall be
prepared and issued by the board through a program vendor in batch
quantities, which pads shall be serially numbered and unable to be
altered, copied, or counterfeited. Blank prescription pads shall
not be transferable. The official prescription pads shall be
provided by the board to appropriate practitioners and facilities
at a fee established by legislative rule.
(c) Prescription pads shall be issued to specific
practitioners marked with a unique number and shall only be used by
that practitioner. The board shall establish security requirements
concerning the procurement of the official prescription pads which
both the board and the contracted program vendor shall use.
(d) A pharmacist may not fill a written prescription from a
West Virginia practitioner unless issued upon an official state
issued prescription form.
§16-5W-5. Legislative rules.
The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-
nine-a of this code to accomplish the requirements of this article.
The legislative rules shall include, at a minimum:
(1) That on July 1, 2011, every prescription written in West
Virginia by a practitioner shall be written on an official West
Virginia tamper-resistant prescription pad.
(2) Contracting requirements for contracting with a program
vendor including auditing requirements for printing facilities and
standard prescription pad formatting requirements.
(3) Standard format for prescription pads and the development
of identifying markers on prescription pads. These markers shall
be on the front and back of the prescription pad to be used by
practitioners throughout the state.
(4) A means of reporting unauthorized use, theft or
destruction of authorized state prescription pads.
(5) Fees for the distribution of standard format prescription pads to practitioners and facilities.
The provisions of this article do not apply to:
(a) oral prescription practices;
(b) electronic prescription practices;
(c) out-of-state prescription practices; or
(d) prescriptions generated within a licensed medical facility
that results in the internal dispensing of prescription drugs to
any patient receiving treatment in that facility where the patient
is never in possession of the prescription.
§16-5W-7. Reporting requirements.
Practitioners shall immediately notify the board as prescribed
by legislative rule of the loss, destruction, theft or unauthorized
use of any official state prescription pads issued to them as well
as the failure to receive official state prescription pads within
a reasonable time after ordering them from the board. Upon receipt
of notification, the board shall conduct a through investigation
and take any necessary and appropriate action.
§16-5W-8. Limitation of additional record keeping and liability.
(a) Official state prescription pads shall include unique
serial numbers for tracking purposes and to decrease potential
fraud. Inclusion of a serial number does not:
(1) Place additional tracking or reporting responsibilities on
a practitioner or pharmacist with the exception of those listed in
section six of this act; or
(2) Affect the liability or responsibility of a practitioner
or a pharmacist.
(b) Use of official West Virginia prescription pads shall meet
all requirements issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Services for the use of tamper-resistant security features.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the West Virginia
Official Prescription Program to reduce prescription drug fraud
establishing an official prescription program. The bill requires
prescriptions to be written on an official tamper-proof form. The
bill also requires the promulgation of rules, establishes reporting
requirements and defines terms.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.)