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New Legislation Changes Pharmacy Practices in West Virginia

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
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Have you wanted your pharmacist and physician to collaborate over your health care and prescriptions? Doing this provides patients with better care and a reduced risk of medication error. Unfortunately, it seems like physicians and pharmacists haven’t done this until now. One state recently adopted new legislation that will change this.

A new pharmacy bill in West Virginia went into effect on July 1, 2013, that updated a policy from the 1990s. The new law, shepherded by Governor Early Ray Tomblin, Senator Ron D. Stollings, and Delegate Don C. Perdue, was nicknamed the Larry W. Border Pharmacy Practice Act in memory of delegate and pharmacist Larry Border.

According to Brian Gallagher, director of pharmacy services at Marshall University School of Pharmacy, the new bill should increase collaborative practices between physicians and pharmacists. By allowing pharmacists and physicians to partner together, it should improve patient care, decrease costs, and reduce medication errors. 

Additionally, this law could pave the way for new educational opportunities. Gallagher said, “The changes provide the opportunity for pharmacists to be more active members of the health care team by managing medications for patients in conjunction with the patients’ physicians.”

When a patient’s physician and pharmacist collaborate, a patient should benefit by an improved quality of care. In fact, the new law provides specific functions that will enhance patient care. Marshall School of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Kevin W. Yingling said, “The modernization of the pharmacy practice act moves West Virginia forward in pharmacy education and ultimately means better and more accessible health care for patients.”

The pharmacy malpractice attorneys at Kennedy Hodges hope that this new bill will, in fact, increase patient safety and minimize pharmacy errors. However, we know that even with this new law, medication mistakes can happen. If you have been harmed by a pharmacist, please call us to find out your rights:  888-526-7616.

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