Thursday, January 31, 2008

West Virginia E-Prescribing Regulations

On January 4, 2008, the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy filed a Notice of Emergency Rule amending CSR 15-1, Licensure and Practice of Pharmacy, implementing the requirements of SB 1001 (See SB 69 and HB 2289) passed during the 2007 Legislative Session permitting electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) of legend drugs in West Virginia, including through the use of electronic data intermediaries.

The Board also filed on January 4, 2008, the Notice of a Comment Period on a Proposed Rule amending CSR 15-1, Licensure and Practice of Pharmacy. Comments on the Proposed Rule must be submitted before February 8, 2008.

The summary and statement of circumstances included in the notice reads:
SB 1001, passed during the First Special Session, 2007, and duly enacted into law, permits electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) of legend drugs in this State, including through the use of electronic data intermediaries as defined therein. SB 1001 contains the following directive to the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy as set forth in West Virginia Code Section 30-5-12C(d): "The board shall promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement and enforce the provisions of this section." E-prescribing is already being done by prescribers around the state, with the amount and frequency of electronic prescriptions being received by pharmacies increasing each day as the technology becomes more accepted and available in the industry. While the current rules allowed for electronic transmission of prescriptions, SB 1001 states that e-prescribing may not be done in this State until emergency rules are promulgated, and further sets additional parameters defining this growing area. As such, the e-prescribing currently being done in this State is being done without appropriate legislative rules in place to protect the integrity, privacy, security and confidentiality of the prescription orders. In addition, prescription drug diversion is an ongoing problem in this State and nation; e-prescribing done correctly is one method to combat the problem often perpetrated through passing fraudulent written prescriptions. Finally, e-prescribing aids in the accuracy of prescriptions by more timely presenting them electronically from the prescriber's office to the pharmacy in a clearly legible format, thus reducing fill-errors and facilitating patient compliance with the prescribed treatment.

Given these factors, the Legislature, through its deliberative process, has determined that an emergency exists requiring the need for emergency rules to govern the use of e-prescribing and electronic data intermediaries in this State for patients to access prescription medications in a safe and efficient manner. Therefore, in accordance with that directive, the purpose of this emergency rule is to revise existing rules governing issuance of prescription orders to set specific standards to govern e-prescribing in West Virginia, thereby protecting the public health, safety, and welfare with regard to restricted drugs which may only be obtained by patients with a proper prescription.

1 comment:

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