Introduced Version House Bill 2348 History

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H. B. 2348


         (By Delegates Fleischauer, Perdue, Marshall,

             Frazier, Williams and Manypenny)

         [Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on Health and Human Resources then Education.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-14-12, relating to requiring the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute to develop a plan regarding neurodegenerative diseases; specifying specific components that the plan should address; and specifying the date by which the plan should be presented to the Legislature.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-14-12, to read as follows:


§18B-14-12. Plan to treat and cure neurodegenerative diseases.

    (a) The Legislature finds and declares:

    (1) There are thrilling developments underway at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. Over twenty compounds have been discovered that have the potential not just to slow brain damage, but to rescue brain cells. By restoring the synapses, or nerve connections, these compounds could one day reverse brain damage and restore memory.

    (2) It will take a great deal of collaboration with public and private entities to obtain sufficient funding and to facilitate FDA approval of these compounds. Therefore, a plan to combat, treat and ultimately cure neurodegenerative disease should be in place. In light of the recent successes of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, the Legislature feels that the institute is best situated to develop this plan for the benefit of the state.

    (3) The plan, if successfully implemented, could save millions of people from heart-breaking diseases. This plan also has great potential for helping our returning veterans. West Virginia University scientists are researching the connections between Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injuries suffered by athletes and those in the military.

    (4) This plan could also provide hundreds of good, local jobs. Many different professionals will be necessary to collect and analyze data, recruit and care for patients, administer the chosen medications and work with the FDA for approval.

    (b) The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute shall develop a plan with both short term and long term goals for the treatment of, with the ultimate goal of curing, neurodegeneration of the brain. The short term goals addressed by the plan should be attainable within two years, and the long term goals should be attainable within ten years. The diseases to be targeted by the plan include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, depression and aging. The plan shall:

    (1) Identify and validate molecular targets for drugs to rescue the brain and its connections from damage or elimination due to Alzheimer's, stroke, traumatic brain injury, depression and aging;

    (2) Address how stakeholders, including the state's medical schools, philanthropic groups, the state Development Office, the Bureau for Public Health, organizations including the AARP and Alzheimer's Association, state veterans groups and others will assist in the staging of clinical trials within the state and elsewhere;

    (3) Specify how financial partners, including the private sector, foundations, medical schools and the state will be organized to leverage the funding needed to implement the plan and how each could benefit from successful implementation of the plan;

    (4) Describe the necessary components for the creation of a clinical outreach network for identifying and recruiting patients to participate on a voluntary basis in clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases within the state and elsewhere;

    (5) Determine how a brain bank for following the pathologic benefits of drugs can be created and administered within the state and elsewhere;

    (6) Outline the necessary elements for the creation of a clinical network for care of patients of clinical trials and administration of the chosen compounds;

    (7) Identify the types and number of employees necessary to administer clinical drug trials, as well as the locations where clinical trials could be conducted within the state and elsewhere, if necessary;

    (8) Estimate the number of jobs that would be created for clinical trials and the income for individuals and revenue for the state that would be generated from these newly created jobs;

    (9) Include any other criteria, factors or elements that would be needed to meet the plan’s objectives; and

    (10) Conclude with an analysis of how implementation of the plan would position the state to be at the forefront of research and testing to find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases.

    (c) The plan developed pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the Joint Committee and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability before October 1, 2011.

    (d) The plan developed pursuant to this section shall be distributed to all members of the Legislature by December 1, 2011.

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to position the state to be the national leader in research and development of treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Implementation is intended to benefit the health of our citizens, improve the economy and further academic excellence in the State of West Virginia.

    §18B-14-12 is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.

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