Medical Board Supports Bills That Seek To Curb Prescription Drug Misuse
On Friday, the Medical Board of California voted to support a series of bills that would address prescription drug misuse but expressed opposition to a bill (SB 304) that would eliminate its authority to investigate physician misconduct, the Los Angeles Times reports (Girion/Glover, Los Angeles Times, 4/26).
The board also voted to create a task force that would develop guidelines for prescribing painkillers (AP/Modern Healthcare, 4/27).
Details of Bills Supported by Medical Board
The package of bills supported by the medical board includes:
- SB 62,Â by Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), which would require coroners to report any prescription drug-related deaths to the board;
- SB 670, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), which would ease the board's efforts to investigate doctors suspected of overprescribing and to suspend their prescribing authority; and
- SB 809, by Steinberg and Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), which would require state health providers to pay a 1.2% premium on their annual licensing fees, providing a total of $9 million annually to upgrade and maintain the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System.
Earlier this month, the Senate Business and Professions Committee approved the series of bills (California Healthline, 4/16).
Details of SB 304
Meanwhile, the board expressed opposition to SB 304 -- by Price and Assembly member Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park) -- which would transfer the medical board's authority to investigate physician misconduct to the California attorney general (Los Angeles Times, 4/26).
The change would leave the medical board to deal mostly with licensing doctors (California Healthline, 4/26).Reginald Low, a medical board member, said that "there's no way the attorney general could take our investigations ... and do what we do" (Los Angeles Times, 4/26). 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.