Senate Bill 81 History
Senate Bill No. 81
(By Senators Jenkins, Foster and Stollings)
[Introduced January 13, 2010; referred to the Committee on Health
and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
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 and §16-5W-7, all
relating to creating the West Virginia Official Prescription
Program Act; requiring prescriptions to be written on an
official tamper-proof form; requiring the promulgation of
rules; reporting requirements; and defining terms.
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 and §16-5W-7, all to read as
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 fraudulent prescriptions to illegally obtain drugs
is a serious problem in America today. 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 states such as New York have
recently implemented document security programs as part of their
efforts to reduce substantially prescription drug fraud.
(d) New York documented Medicaid savings of $140 million
directly tied to its secure issuance prescription program during
the first year after implementation of the program, and 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
As used in this article:
(1) "Board" means the Board of Pharmacy established in article
five, chapter thirty of this code.
(2) "Department" means Department of Health and Human
(3) "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 nurse or medication aide who administers such
a substance at the direction of a licensed physician.
(4) "Prescriber" means a licensed health care professional
with prescriptive authority.
(5) "West Virginia Official Prescription Program" means a
program established under section four of this article.
(6) "Program Vendor" means the private contractor selected to manage the production and delivery of official state prescriptions
(7) "West Virginia Official Prescription" means a
prescription, 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 forms.
(D) Capable of supporting automated validation through
pharmacy claims processing systems using the official state
prescription control number.
(8) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of
Health and Human Resources.
§16-5W-4. Establishment of West Virginia Official Prescription
(a) The secretary shall establish and maintain, with the
consultation of the board, an official prescription program
dispensed in the state.
(b) The secretary may contract with a vendor to establish and
maintain the official state prescription program pursuant to
guidelines which the secretary shall promulgate. The guidelines
shall include at a minimum the requirements outlined in subsection
(c) of this section.
(c) (1) On July 1, 2011, every prescription written in West Virginia by a practitioner shall be written on an official West
Virginia tamper-resistant prescription. This subsection does not
apply to 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. A pharmacist may not
fill a written prescription from a West Virginia practitioner
unless issued upon an official prescription form. Nothing in this
section may be construed to impact regulations regarding oral,
electronic, or out-of-state prescription practices.
(2) An official West Virginia prescription form shall be
prepared and issued by the secretary in batch quantities, which
forms shall be serially numbered and unable to be altered, copied,
or counterfeited. Such prescription blanks may not be
transferable. The official prescription forms shall be provided by
the secretary to registered practitioners and facilities without
charge. Each prescription shall be issued to a specific
practitioner marked with a unique number and shall only be used by
that practitioner. The secretary shall establish security
requirements for the department or the contracted program vendor
concerning the procurement of the official prescription forms. The
selected prescription printing facility shall have at least a two
year history of SAS70 audits and maintain annual SAS70 audits as a
minimal facility security requirement to be authorized to print official West Virginia prescription forms. A pharmacist may not
fill a written prescription from a West Virginia practitioner
unless issued upon an official state issued prescription form.
Nothing in this section may be construed to impact regulations
regarding oral, electronic, or out-of-state prescription practices.
(3) The official West Virginia prescription forms shall be
provided by the secretary to registered practitioners and
facilities without charge. The forms may be used only by the
person to whom they are issued and are not transferable.
§16-5W-5. Legislative rules.
The secretary shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-
nine-a of this code as are necessary to implement the provisions of
this article to establish and maintain an official statewide
prescription program outlined in section four of this article with
specific criteria to eliminate or significantly reduce prescription
fraud. The secretary shall develop the standard format and
identifying markers on the front and back of the prescription pad
to be used by practitioners throughout the state. "Markers" shall
be defined as the specific criteria under this section which shall
be authorized by the state to be used on official prescriptions.
The secretary shall further develop contract requirements which
shall contain the adopted format and criteria approved.
§16-5W-6. Reporting requirements.
(a) Practitioners shall immediately notify the department on
forms supplied by the secretary of the loss, destruction, theft or
unauthorized use of any official state prescription forms issued to
them as well as the failure to receive official state prescription
forms within a reasonable time after ordering them from the
secretary. Upon receipt of notification, the secretary shall take
(b) Each dispenser shall submit to the department, by
electronic means, or other format specified in a waiver granted by
the secretary, the official state prescription control number as
part of a state prescription monitoring program.
§16-5W-7. Limitation of additional record keeping and liability.
(a) Official state prescription forms 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 forms shall
meet all Medicaid requirements for tamper-resistant security
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.