New Law Will Take Effect Tuesday to Make Doctors Check Prescription Database Before Prescribing Opioids
Families Impacted By Opioid Crisis and Consumer Advocates Will Speak On 4-Year Battle to Enact Law to Stem Opioid Overprescribing in CA and Save Lives
WHO: Tammy Smick, who lost her son Alex because of opioid overprescribing
Carmen Balber, executive director Consumer Watchdog
WHEN: Tuesday, October 2nd 11:00 AM
WHAT: Legislation requiring prescribers to consult a state prescription drug database before prescribing addictive painkillers and other controlled substances will take effect on Tuesday, October 2nd.
Families harmed by the opioid epidemic and consumer advocates who fought against medical industry opposition for four years to enact the legislation will speak about its potential to reduce opioid addiction by ensuring doctors have the information they need to safely prescribe, manage opioid dependence and prevent addiction.
Tammy Smick lost her 20-year-old son Alex after he was overprescribed opioids following a skateboarding injury. Alex lost his life in the very treatment facility he entered to wean himself off those medications safely.
With its implementation Tuesday, California will become the 28thstate to require doctors to check the state prescription drug database, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), before prescribing. Research in states with similar laws has demonstrated that they reduce opioid overprescribing and doctor-shopping. For example, New York saw a 75% reduction in doctor-shopping after its first year of mandatory use. Kentucky saw opioid prescriptions fall 8.5% in its first year.
In California, according to the Department of Public Health, 1,882 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017.