More Oversight of Free Health Clinics?

By: TOM BREEN - Associated Press Writer
By: TOM BREEN - Associated Press Writer

Free clinics could be in jeopardy of losing millions of dollars a year in donated prescription drugs if a bill providing state oversight of the clinics doesn't pass.

Drug industry lobbyist Phil Reale said at a public hearing Thursday in the House of Delegates that manufacturers who donate roughly $50 million worth of drugs every year in West Virginia are worried about being exposed to lawsuits if the clinics aren't more tightly regulated.

The Senate passed a bill this week that would bring the ten free clinics under the regulatory supervision of the state Board of Pharmacy. One of the requirements of the board is to have a pharmacist in charge at each clinic.

The clinics worry the additional oversight would be expensive and could affect patient care. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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