New Law Requires Doctors to Check Patients' Drug History

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law
Senate Bill 482, which will require doctors to check an online database for a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids as well as steroids, sleep aids and psychiatric medications and other potentially dangerous drugs.

The state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database is an online prescription drug-monitoring program maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that contains information on Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances dispensed to patients in California.

The utilization of CUES has up until now been optional for prescribers. The bill, by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), requires doctors to now consult California’s prescription drug monitoring database when prescribing controlled substances. Failure to do so under the new law could result in disciplinary action.

Meant to curb to “doctor shopping” — the practice of visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescription for opioids, the new law is set to go in effect in 2017 - after DOJ certifies that CURES is fully ready for statewide use.

(Source: California Healthline [10/3/2016])