SANTA MONICA, CA – Today environmental activist and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich announced her support for Prop 46, the November ballot initiative that will protect patient safety and save lives.
Brockovich is best known for the work she did to build a case against PG&E on their groundwater contamination in Hinkley, CA, in 1993. The case, which settled in 1996, is one of many anti-pollution cases that Brockovich participated in over the years. Her work in bringing litigation in the successful case against PG&E was the focus of the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts.
“Today, I am announcing my support of Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act,” said Brockovich. “I’m backing it for a simple reason: this ballot measure will save lives. Proposition 46 gives all of us, the voters of California, a chance to step in and correct a big problem that our state lawmakers don’t address. In the absence of our leaders, we as Californians need to take steps on our own to better protect patients. Let’s choose to save lives.”
Proposition 46 would:
-Mandate random drug and alcohol testing of doctors modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration’s testing of airline pilots, and testing after an adverse event in a hospital;
-Require that physicians check the state’s existing prescription drug database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs to first-time patients to curb doctor-shopping drug abusers;
-Promote justice for patients and legal deterrence to wrongdoing by adjusting the state's malpractice cap to account for 38 years of inflation, while maintaining the existing cap on attorneys fees;
-Require physicians to report suspected drug or alcohol abuse at work by a colleague.
The proponent of Proposition 46 is Bob Pack, whose two young children were killed by a drunk and drugged doctor-shopping driver who had been overprescribed thousands of pills from Kaiser physicians despite not having physical symptoms.
Brockovich joins a growing coalition of supporters including Consumer Federation of California, Congress of California Seniors, Founder of MADD, Candace Lightner, Senator Barbara Boxer, Leader Nancy Pelosi, health care professionals, and victims of medical negligence who support Proposition 46, also known as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act.
Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States according to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety that estimated up to 440,000 people die each year because of mistakes in hospitals. The California Medical Board reported that experts estimate that nearly one in five doctors will abuse drugs or alcohol during their lifetimes. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990 and most of those deaths are due to prescription drugs. Proposition 46 creates new protections to detect and deter medical negligence, overprescribing of prescription drugs, and doctor drug and alcohol abuse.
Opponents of Proposition 46’s patient safety provisions, mostly hospitals and large insurance companies, have already raised $34 million for its defeat.
Learn more about Proposition 46 at www.yeson46.org
Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc.