New Law, Funding Aim To Reinvigorate State’s Rx Drug Monitoring Program

In a California Healthline report by Kenny Goldberg, experts discussed the rising threat of prescription drug misuse throughout California, and what a new state law and new funding for a monitoring program can do about it.

Prescription drug misuse has become the leading cause of accidental death in California. Health officials call the growing problem an epidemic. NIH estimates that 52 million U.S. residents have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. The agency says 14% of those pill-takers met the criteria for abuse during the past year.

To help clamp down on the problem, a new law will help fund a prescription drug monitoring program, the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System, which provides information that can be used to see if patients are doctor-shopping, or if physicians are overprescribing.

The report includes comments from:

  • Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord);
  • Tom Lenox, supervising special agent for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency;
  • Jonathan Lucas, deputy medical examiner for San Diego County; and
  • Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association (Goldberg, California Healthline, 11/13/13).

You can download this report as a PDF.

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