Senator Lara: Mandatory Checks of Prescription Drug Database Will Save Lives from Opioid Overuse

October 02, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) welcomed today’s implementation of mandatory checks of California’s prescription database, two years after Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 482.

Senator Lara authored SB 482 in 2016 to confront the over-prescription of opioids and other dangerous and addictive drugs. The law requires all prescribers issuing schedule II, III, and IV drugs to consult California’s Controlled Substance Utilizations Review and Evaluation System (CURES) before prescribing.

“SB 482 requires that prescribers consult the CURES database before issuing these powerful, addictive drugs to a patient who might be struggling with substance use,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Mandatory checks of CURES will help limit doctor shopping so we can limit the over-prescription of opioids that fuels the cycle of addiction.”

Senator Lara also is the author of Senate Bill 1228, which protects patients in recovery from patient brokering by banning payments for referrals in licensed treatment centers. Governor Brown signed SB 1228 into law last month.

The California Department of Justice manages CURES, which is shared between by law enforcement, clinicians, and regulators. Schedule II, III, and IV drugs include such habit-forming painkillers as oxycodone or fentanyl, as well as those commonly prescribed for anxiety.

California enacted the nation’s first prescription drug monitoring program in 1996, what is today known as the CURES system. Forty nine states currently have prescription drug monitoring programs in place, including more than 30 that make checks mandatory.

“California was once a leader in tracking prescriptions of the strongest painkillers, but our state fell behind as the opioid crisis grew,” said Senator Lara. “Starting today we can prevent prescriptions from ever again fueling an epidemic that claims thousands of lives.”

Learn more at the Department of Justice CURES website.