Santa Monica, CA – A California bill will implement the recommendation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s injury prevention report card that states require doctors to use state prescription drug databases as one of ten key factors to prevent injury deaths.
“Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in America, but California still fails to make the grade on a simple measure to reduce prescription drug abuse and save lives. It’s time to require doctors to take this common sense step and check a patient’s medical record before prescribing dangerous and addictive drugs. This will save money and save lives,” said Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber.
SB 482 (Ricardo Lara – Bell Gardens) will require doctors to check California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) before prescribing Schedule II and III drugs, like OxyContin and other opioids, for the first time to a patient, and annually if the course of narcotic treatment continues.
An upgrade of the prescription drug database is underway at the Department of Justice and the CURES 2.0 system will be launched for use on July 1.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study noted that prescription painkiller misuse costs an estimated $55.7 billion a year in health care costs, lost productivity and criminal justice costs. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in America and prescription drugs cause the majority of those deaths.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and numerous patient and public health organizations have identified prescription drug databases as key to reducing the prescription drug abuse epidemic.