W.Va. Ends Reporting to Drug Companies

The state’s health care plan for public employees has decided drug companies don’t need to know what medications are being prescribed to its members.

The Public Employees Insurance Agency has asked its pharmacy benefit manager, St. Louis-based Express Scripts, to stop providing that information to drug manufacturers.

Advocates of ending the disclosures say the drug companies use the information to encourage doctors to prescribe brand name medications instead of cheaper, generic equivalents.

“Basically, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, the chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

Even though Express Scripts has agreed to stop providing the information to drug companies, Perdue said he’s still considering introducing legislation to ban the practice for any company providing pharmacy benefits to West Virginia state health plans.

Express Scripts said it would comply with the PEIA’s request.