(By Delegates Douglas, Kuhn, Angotti, Azinger, Butcher, Caputo, Flanigan, Hatfield, Louisos, Manchin, Marshall, Mattaliano, McGraw, Modesitt, Overington, Perdue, Prunty, L. Smith, Stalnaker, Tucker, H. White, and Willison)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to conduct a study of reducing the costs of prescription drugs to the citizens of West Virginia.

Whereas, Prescription drug costs account for a large percentage of out-of-pocket healthcare spending, and much of these costs are borne by senior citizens of this state, many of whom lack insurance coverage for prescription drugs; and

Whereas, Federal guidelines have imposed increasing requirements on the amount of time that pharmacists and staff must devote to consultation and communication with the public, which may contribute to both error rates and costs of drugs; and

Whereas, Some states have established programs which utilize bulk purchasing and other alternative methods of purchasing drugs in order to reduce costs; and

Whereas, The Legislature needs accurate information on the impacts of alternate purchasing methods and policies on local, independent pharmacies, and the impacts of direct advertising on the costs of prescription drugs; therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby
requested to study the development of policies to reduce the error rate and lessen the burden of purchasing prescription drugs on the citizens of West Virginia, including making available a registry of companies and organizations that provide free medications; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2001, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.