WV Opioid Reduction Act Imposes New Restrictions and Responsibilities on Prescribers

By: Kristen Andrews Wilson

Published: October 23, 2018

Prescribers in West Virginia are bound by new restrictions set forth in the Opioid Reduction Act, aimed at combating the opioid crisis in West Virginia.  The Act was enacted by the state legislature to limit patient access in an effort to minimize the number of opioids on the street and to reduce the likelihood that a patient will become addicted while seeking medical treatment.  The Act’s limitations and documentation requirements should prompt facilities to examine their policies and procedures and ensure that all practitioners with prescriptive authority are trained on the requirements and are appropriately documenting care.

Patients seeking treatment for cancer, patients in hospice care, and residents of long term care facilities are excluded. Below is a brief list of the new restrictions in place:

In addition to the above limitations, the Act imposes other requirements including:

In addition to potential liability issues, the Opioid Reduction Act also permits disciplinary action for abnormal prescribing or dispensing patterns creating professional licensing issues. For questions on complying with the Act’s requirements, contact one of the authors of this alert.

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