Senate Bill No. 438
(By Senators Foster, Hall, Laird, Green, Miller, Browning, Unger, Klempa, Palumbo, Wills and Yost)
[Introduced January 27, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §60A-9-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to adding the county sheriff, or his or her designee, to those law-enforcement officials who are granted access to certain confidential pharmaceutical information to identify unusual or abnormal drug practices; and granting rule-making authority.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §60A-9-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES MONITORING.
§60A-9-5. Confidentiality; limited access to records; period of retention; no civil liability for required reporting.
(a) The information required by this article to be kept by the State Board of Pharmacy is confidential and is open to inspection only by inspectors and agents of the State Board of Pharmacy, members of the West Virginia State Police expressly authorized by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police to have access to the information, the elected sheriff of each county or his or her designee, authorized agents of local law-enforcement agencies as a member of a drug task force, authorized agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, duly authorized agents of the Bureau for Medical Services and the Workers’ Compensation Commission, duly authorized agents of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for use in post-mortem examinations, duly authorized agents of licensing boards of practitioners in this state and other states authorized to prescribe Schedules II, III and IV controlled substances, prescribing practitioners and pharmacists and persons with an enforceable court order or regulatory agency administrative subpoena. Provided, That all information released by the State Board of Pharmacy must be related to a specific patient or a specific individual or entity under investigation by any of the above parties except that practitioners who prescribe controlled substances may request specific data related to their Drug Enforcement Administration controlled substance registration number or for the purpose of providing treatment to a patient. The board shall maintain the information required by this article for a period of not less than five years. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, data obtained under the provisions of this article may be used for compilation of educational, scholarly or statistical purposes as long as the identities of persons or entities remain confidential. No individual or entity required to report under section four of this article may be is subject to a claim for civil damages or other civil relief for the reporting of information to the Board of Pharmacy as required under and in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(b) All practitioners, as that term is defined in section one hundred-one, article two of this chapter who prescribe or dispense schedule II, III or IV controlled substances shall, on or before July 1, 2011, have online or other form of electronic access to the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database.
(c) Persons or entities with access to the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database pursuant to this section may, pursuant to rules promulgated by the Board of Pharmacy, delegate appropriate personnel to have access to said database.
(d) Good faith reliance by a practitioner on information contained in the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database in prescribing or dispensing or refusing or declining to prescribe or dispense a schedule II, III or IV controlled substance shall constitute is an absolute defense in any civil or criminal action brought due to prescribing or dispensing or refusing or declining to prescribe or dispense.
(e) The Board of Pharmacy is hereby authorized to promulgate an emergency rule under chapter twenty-nine-a to effectuate the amendments to this section enacted during the 2010 and 2012 Regular Session Sessions of the Legislature.
(f) Nothing in the article shall be construed to require requires a practitioner to access the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add the county sheriff, or his or her designee, to those law-enforcement officials who are granted access to certain confidential pharmaceutical information to identify unusual or abnormal drug practices. The bill also grants rule-making authority.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.