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Meager participation hobbles drug oversight (CA)

The New York Times, April 9, 2012

California's prescription drug monitoring program is a real-time online database that displays a patient's prescription drug history. As attorney general, Gov. Jerry Brown promoted the online database in 2009 as a new solution to the prescription drug abuse epidemic. More than 40 states are using similar systems to help curb prescription drug abuse. But in California, the system has not put a dent in prescription drug abuse because enrollment in the drug-monitoring database program is optional. Of more than 30,000 doctors and pharmacists in the Bay Area, only 86 are signed up to use the system, according to records obtained by The Bay Citizen.