West Virginia House passes telehealth bill that expand access to mental health drugs

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The West Virginia House of Representatives passed legislation allowing clinicians to prescribe certain controlled substances via telehealth platforms, according to a report by The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register.

Physicians cannot prescribe certain drugs when providing care via teleconferencing technologies under the current law. These drugs include narcotics, such as oxycodone and morphine.

The new legislation loosens current regulations to allow telehealth-based prescriptions of medications for behavioral or mental health issues, but it still bans prescriptions of opioids so as to not exacerbate the state's existing substance abuse problem.

"So, ADHD is the main thing that this is going to seek to close, so kids that have ADHD can be treated via telehealth to get their adderall and other prescriptions for such, so this is not to allow pill mills. This is really to extend for our mental health providers a way to service our clients in rural areas," said House Delegate Matthew Rohrbach, R- Cabell County, according to the report.

The bill is now headed to the state Senate.

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