California Attorney General Unveils System To Curb Rx Drug Abuse
As expected on Wednesday, California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) announced a plan to provide physicians and pharmacists with an online database of patients' prescription histories as a way to help fight prescription drug abuse, the Los Angeles Times reports (Reiterman, Los Angeles Times, 6/5).
Physicians and pharmacists will be able to instantly access more than 86 million drug prescriptions once the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation system goes online.
Under the current system, physicians and pharmacists submit prescription information requests to the attorney general's office by fax or telephone, and it can take a couple of days to receive the data.
The attorney general's office receives more than 60,000 prescription history requests annually (California Healthline, 6/4).
California's will be the largest online prescription drug database in the nation, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The Troy and Alana Pack Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the California State Board of Pharmacy and the attorney general's office are developing the new database (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 6/4).
Bob Pack, whose children were killed in a car accident resulting from the driver's prescription drug abuse, has pledged to help raise $3.5 million to create the database. He said the system could be operational in as few as 10 months (Los Angeles Times, 6/5).
Pack also said the database could help track physicians who might be prescribing drugs for profit.
Consumer groups said privacy measures should be in place before the database is launched to ensure the security of patient information.
Brown and other officials said the database will be run through the state Department of Justice and will include several layers of security mechanisms (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/4).
Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" on Wednesday reported on the announcement. The segment includes comments from Brown (Weiss, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 6/4).
KPCC's "KPCC News" also reported on the database project. The segment includes comments from Pack (Watt, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/4).