During a second special session, the West Virginia Legislature approved House Bill 214, revising the prescriptive authority of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs). Previously, APRNs and PAs could not prescribe Schedule I or Schedule II medications and had limitations on prescribing Schedule III medications. House Bill 214 permits APRNs and PAs to prescribe Schedule II medications for up to a three-day supply and provides no other limitations on Schedule II medications (other than limitations required under the Opioid Reduction Act). The passage of House Bill 214 does not affect an APRN’s prescriptive authority, as dictated by a COVID-19 waiver, which allows an APRN to continue a Schedule II medication started by a physician.
In response to the increased prescriptive authority, the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy (WVBOP) recently issued a Controlled Substances FAQ stating that if a PA has a collaborative agreement with a physician, the collaborating physician’s name must be on the prescription. If the PA’s practice is governed by a notification arrangement, the collaborating physician’s name is not needed on the prescription. WVBOP has been advised that after June 2022, all PAs will be in a notification-type arrangement that does not require the collaborating physician’s name on the prescription. In the coming weeks, it is expected that WVBOP and the West Virginia Board of Medicine will set forth the process and practices encompassing this increased prescriptive authority.
House Bill 214 became effective immediately. If you have questions about the prescriptive authority of APRNs or PAs, please contact the authors of this alert. Also, visit the Steptoe & Johnson Health Care Team on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest developments in health care law.