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Parents of prescription overdose victims plead with CA legislators

Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2013

SACRAMENTO -- After hearing emotional testimony from parents whose children died of drug overdoses, lawmakers in Sacramento called Monday for the Medical Board of California to mine a statewide database of prescriptions to help identify doctors who recklessly prescribe narcotics. "If we are going to take seriously the role of patient protection, then we have to be proactive in determining if there is a pattern of overprescribing," said Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), who co-chairs a joint legislative panel that oversees the medical board. One of the chief criticisms of the medical board has been its approach to investigating physician misconduct. Currently, the board launches investigations only in response to complaints. Several legislators said Monday that it should actively look for patterns of reckless prescribing in the state's database, known as CURES.