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CA lawmakers pass prescription drug reform bills

The Los Angeles Times, September 10, 2013

Senate Bill 809 would shore up California's prescription drug monitoring program, which was gutted during the state's fiscal crisis. The program, known as CURES, is viewed by experts and public health authorities as key to stemming the epidemic of overdose deaths.Under the program, pharmacists are required to report to the state attorney general every narcotic prescription they dispense, including the names of the prescriber and the patient. In theory, the attorney general's office can use the data to identify doctor-shopping patients as well as physicians prescribing recklessly. But, because of budget cuts, the database is little used and relies on arcane and balky software.