Calif. Assembly Passes Two Bills Aimed at Reducing Rx Drug Misuse
Background on SB 62
SB 62 was proposed in response to a Los Angeles Times investigation that found that nearly half of drug-related deaths examined by reporters were related to medications directly prescribed to the deceased, rather than stolen drugs or medications prescribed to others.
Coroners already are required to report prescription drug-related deaths that might have resulted from physician negligence, but a state legislative analysis found that the requirement is not strictly enforced, according to the AP/KPCC's "KPCC News."
Details of SB 62
The bill would require county coroners to report any prescription drug-related deaths to the Medical Board of California.
Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrence) -- the bill's sponsor -- said the legislation would help the board identify patterns among prescription drug-related deaths.
Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) added that the bill would "help our agencies to connect the dots and address the very challenging problem of prescription drug" misuse.
The bill -- which passed the Assembly by a 54-24 vote -- now returns to the full state Senate for consideration.
Details of SB 809
Meanwhile, the Assembly unanimously passed SB 809, which would require state health providers to pay a $6 annual fee on their licensing premium ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 9/9). The fee would provide a total of $9 million annually to upgrade and maintain the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES (California Healthline, 6/5).
CURES was developed to help deter substance misuse by tracking patients' prescription drug history.
Lawmakers said the database would be suspended if additional funding is not provided.
The bill now returns to the state Senate for a procedural vote ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 9/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.