(b) The secretary of the department of administration shall serve as chairperson of the council, which shall meet at times and places specified by the chairperson or upon the request of two members of the council.
(c) Authority members shall not be compensated in their capacity as members but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(d) The council has the power and authority to:
(1) Contract for the purpose of implementing the cost containment provisions of this article;
(2) File suit;
(3) Execute as permitted by applicable federal law, prescription drug purchasing agreements with:
(A) All departments, agencies, authorities, institutions, programs, any agencies or programs of the federal government, quasi-public corporations and political subdivisions of this state, including, but not limited to, the children's health insurance program, the division of corrections, the division of juvenile services, the regional jail and correctional facility authority, the workers' compensation fund, state colleges and universities, public hospitals, state or local institutions, such as nursing homes, veterans' homes, the division of rehabilitation, public health departments, state programs, including, but not limited to, programs established in sections four and five of this article, and the bureau of medical services: Provided, That any contract or agreement executed with or on behalf of the bureau of medical services shall contain all necessary provisions to comply with the provisions of Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §1396 et seq., dealing with pharmacy services offered to recipients under the medical assistance plan of West Virginia;
(B) Governments of other states and jurisdictions and their individual departments, agencies, authorities, institutions, programs, quasi-public corporations and political subdivisions; and (C) Regional or multi-state purchasing alliances or consortia, formed for the purpose of pooling the combined purchasing power of the individual members in order to increase bargaining power; and
(4) Consider strategies by which West Virginia may manage the increasing costs of prescription drugs and increase access to prescription drugs for all of the state's citizens, including the authority to:
(A) Explore the enactment of fair prescription drug pricing policies;
(B) Explore discount prices or rebate programs for seniors and persons without prescription drug coverage;
(C) Explore programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers that provide prescription drugs for free or at reduced prices;
(D) Explore requirements and criteria, including the level of detail, for prescription drug manufacturers to disclose to the council expenditures for advertising, marketing and promotion, based on aggregate national data;
(E) Explore the establishment of counter-detailing programs aimed at educating health care practitioners authorized to prescribe prescription drugs about the relative costs and benefits of various prescription drugs, with an emphasis on generic substitution for brand name drugs when available and appropriate; prescribing older, less costly drugs instead of newer, more expensive drugs, when appropriate; and prescribing lower dosages of prescription drugs, when available and appropriate;
(F) Explore disease state management programs aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of treating certain diseases identified as prevalent among this state's population with prescription drugs; (G) Explore prescription drug purchasing agreements with large private sector purchasers of prescription drugs and including those private entities in pharmacy benefit management contracts: Provided, That no private entity may be compelled to participate in a purchasing agreement;
(H) Explore the feasibility of using or referencing, the federal supply schedule or referencing to the price, as adjusted for currency valuations, set by the Canada patented medicine prices review board ("PMPRB"), or any other appropriate referenced price to establish prescription drug pricing for brand name drugs in the state; and to review and determine the dispensing fees for pharmacies in such as established in section six of this article;
(I) Explore, if possible, joint negotiations for drug purchasing and a shared prescription drug pricing schedule and shared preferred drug list for use by the public employees insurance agency, the medicaid program, other state payors and private insurers;
(J) Explore coordination between the medicaid program, the public employees insurance agency and, to the extent possible, in-state hospitals and private insurers toward the development of a uniform preferred prescription drug list which is clinically appropriate and which leverages retail prices;
(K) Explore policies which promote the use of generic drugs, where appropriate;
(L) Explore a policy that precludes a drug manufacturer from reducing the amounts of drug rebates or otherwise penalize an insurer, health plan or other entity which pays for prescription drugs based upon the fact that the entity uses step therapy or other clinical programs before a drug is covered or otherwise authorized for payment;
(M) Explore arrangements with entities in the private sector, including self-funded benefit plans and nonprofit corporations, toward combined purchasing of health care services, health care management services, pharmacy benefits management services or pharmaceutical products on the condition that no private entity be compelled to participate in the prescription drug purchasing pool; and
(N) Explore other strategies, as permitted under state and federal law, aimed at managing escalating prescription drug prices and increasing affordable access to prescription drugs for all West Virginia citizens;
(5) Contract with appropriate legal, actuarial and other service providers required to accomplish any function within the powers of the council;
(6) Develop other strategies, as permitted under state and federal law, aimed at managing escalating prescription drug prices and increasing affordable access to prescription drugs for all West Virginia citizens;
(7) Explore the licensing and regulation of pharmaceutical detailers, including the requirement of continuing professional education, the imposition of fees for licensing and continuing education, the establishment of a special revenue account for deposit of the fees and the imposition of penalties for noncompliance with licensing and continuing education requirements, and rules to establish procedures to implement the provisions of the subdivision;
(8) The council shall report to the Legislature's joint committee on government and finance on or before the first day of September, two thousand four, and report on or before the thirty-first day of December, two thousand four, and annually thereafter to the Legislature, and provide recommendations to the Legislature on needed legislative action and other functions established by the article or requested by the joint committee on government and finance of the Legislature; and
(9) The council shall, upon the passage of this article, immediately commence to study the fiscal impact to this state of the federal "Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003" and shall report to the Legislature's joint committee on government and finance on or before the fifteenth day of October, two thousand four, as to the findings of the council.
(10) The council shall develop an evaluation methodology to certify and audit savings in the discount savings program by determining the impact on growth and profit of the pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure that prices have not been inflated to offset the discount card value.
(11) The council shall evaluate the clearinghouse established by this article and the discount card program established by this article to report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability, their findings and recommendations for further action by the Legislature.
(12) The council shall further: (1) Review determine that the implementation of the programs under this article will not jeopardize, reduce or penalize the benefits of veterans or other recipients of FSS drug prices, considering their respective co-pay structures, and the pricing mechanisms of their respective programs; (2) commence negotiations to obtain independent agreements or multi-state agreements as many as ten states to use or reference a pricing schedule as set forth in section six of this article; (3) and determine the ability to establish a savings of forty-two percent of the retail cost to be reported to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability, as established in section eight of this article.