SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California doctors would be required to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotics under a bill moving through the state Legislature.
Currently it is voluntary to check the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, known as CURES.
The database lets doctors make sure patients are not getting narcotics from multiple physicians and aren't taking harmful combinations of drugs.
Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens says his SB482 would help reduce addictions to prescription drugs and prevent thousands of overdose deaths. Backers say prescription drugs kill more people than do illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin.
Nine other states already make it mandatory for doctors to check their state's drug databases.
The bill passed the Senate Thursday on a 28-11 vote and now heads to the Assembly.