(a) A licensed health care provider who is permitted by law to prescribe drugs, including opioid antagonists, may, if acting in good faith, prescribe and subsequently dispense or distribute an opioid antagonist without being subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution unless prescribing the opioid antagonist was the result of the licensed health care providers gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Terms Used In West Virginia Code 16-46-5

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Licensed health care provider: means a person, partnership, corporation, professional limited liability company, health care facility or institution licensed by or certified in this state to provide health care or professional health care services. See West Virginia Code 16-46-2
  • Opioid antagonist: means a federal Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of an opiate-related overdose, such as naloxone hydrochloride or other substance, that, when administered, negates or neutralizes, in whole or in part, the pharmalogical effects of an opioid in the body. See West Virginia Code 16-46-2
  • Overdose: means an acute condition, including, but not limited to, life-threatening physical illness, coma, mania, hysteria or death, which is the result of the consumption or use of opioid drugs. See West Virginia Code 16-46-2

(b) For purposes of this chapter and chapter sixty-a of this code, any prescription written, as described in section three of this article, shall be presumed as being issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) Any person who possesses an opioid antagonist and administers it to a person whom they believe to be suffering from an opioid-related overdose and who is acting in good faith is not, as a result of his or her actions or omissions, subject to criminal prosecution arising from the possession of an opioid antagonist or subject to any civil liability with respect to the administration of or failure to administer the opioid antagonist unless the act or failure to act was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

(d) Any person who administers an opioid antagonist to a person whom they believe to be suffering from an opioid-related overdose is required to seek additional medical treatment at a medical facility for that person immediately following the administration of the opioid antagonist to avoid further complications as a result of suspected opioid-related overdose.

(e) Any pharmacist or pharmacy intern who dispenses or refuses to dispense an opioid antagonist under the provisions of this article who is acting in good faith and subject to the requirements of section three-a of this article is not, as a result of his or her actions or omissions, subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution unless dispensing the opioid antagonist was the result of the pharmacist or pharmacy interns gross negligence or willful misconduct.