Senator DeSaulnier Bill to Improve Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Passes Committee

April 23, 2014 16:30 pm · 28 comments

A bill by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to improve California’s fight against the prescription drug abuse epidemic passed the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development this week.

SB 1258 strengthens the Department of Justice’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). CURES allows authorized prescribers and pharmacists to quickly review controlled substance information and patient prescription history in an effort to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion.

SB 1258 builds upon the groundwork laid out in SB 809 (DeSaulnier), signed by the Governor last year, to provide essential funding to upgrade the CURES Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. SB 1258 includes improvements to expand electronic prescribing of controlled substances to reduce prescription pad fraud, establish stronger dispensing limits, track schedule V controlled substances using the CURES database, and allow designated investigators at the Department of Consumer Affairs access to the CURES data for purposes of investigations.

“Expanding electronic prescribing is the next step in the fight against prescription drug abuse,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “SB 1258 improves our ability to prevent prescription drug abuse before it is too late. The provisions in SB 1258 create safer prescription practices and increase the prescription narcotics tracked by CURES to help save lives.”

Prescription narcotic sales quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. With an increased prescribing of narcotics there has been a parallel increase in deaths, now four times what it was in 1999. Prescription drug overdoses now cause more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

In 2011, sales of painkillers in the United States reached $8.5 billion, and nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs the United States more than $72.5 billion each year in direct health care costs. Sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers, oxycodone and hydrocodone, have skyrocketed over the last decade. In California, between 2000 and 2010, the per capita sales of oxycodone increased 372% and the per capita sales of hydrocodone increased 123%.

SB 1258 is now headed to the Senate Committee on Public Safety.

Problem Solved April 23, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Anything to drive up the cost of medicine! Well done, you idiot!

mike mac April 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM

CURES is not cost-effective for physicians and pharmacists to join. They need to reduce the cost and reduce the paperwork required to be part of the voluntary system. This bill does not appear to be concerned with that aspect of opening CURES to more medical professionals.

Bob the Repairman April 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Here’s another one!! Must be election time!!!

Me April 23, 2014 at 5:15 PM

We Need to make using a steel tamper proof pill dispenser mandatory for all addictive prescription meds. They make them in Europe. And only release what the doctor and pharmacist program it to. Meaning people would be way less likely to take more than prescribed, or more often etc. It would be money well spent imo… That is a great way to better control these substances..

Mark has introduced a bill April 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM

that regulates the length of toe nails. “The crisis of people not trimming their toe nails has reached an epidemic proportion” claims Mark. The state has to take steps to educate, monitor and invest in the health and wellbeing of all of our citizens, even if it means paying for professional, licensed toe nail trimmers to go door to door.

The new bill includes language that if people cannot take care of their toe nails and meet the state standards of toe nail etiquette, the state will set up state funded toe nail cutting clinics and everyone over 6 months old will be forced to have their toe nails trimmed at least once a month. The bill includes funding for the clinics, a bureau to track the citizens and an armed military brigade to force people to the clinics.

“This bill is for the good of the people” Mark says.

anon April 23, 2014 at 5:19 PM

No! on SB 1258 .

Yhe Phantom April 23, 2014 at 5:28 PM

This will affect a few contributors…

– State Senator Mark DeSaulnier for Congress 2014 – the Good Concord Solution as our leadership voice in Washington.

– For a list of his wide spread and diverse supporters:!

More invasion of privacy April 23, 2014 at 5:59 PM

And no # 4, I don’t want the European model of ANYTHING . I’ve had several very painful surgeries and the last thing I needed was a remote control dispenser.

Hell, as I awakened from one massive knee surgery including pins and staples for broken bones AND multiple torn ligaments, I had a nurse try to ease my pain co -tylenol. What a joke. I laid helpless in pain until it proved to do nothing. Then, I eventually stayed in the hospital for two days of demerol shots to put me back to sleep.

Take your European idea elsewhere.

Silva April 23, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Oh, goodie.

Anonymous April 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

He gets my toenail clippers our of my cold , dead hands

anon April 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Woot! More War on Drugs paperwork, more people going to jail who have done nothing wrong but merely made paperwork violations and are then prosecuted as vicious drug dealers. More people in pain as doctors and pharmacists fear prescribing and dispensing narcotics! More costs that taxpayers must foot for those who can’t pay for the now more expensive drugs. Thanks Mark!

Atticus Thraxx April 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

“fight against the prescription drug abuse epidemic” Epidemic huh? So “…prescription drug abuse Holocaust” wasn’t available?

Anon April 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

More democratic waste and pointless bureaucracy. If people want drugs, they’ll just get the 50.1% to vote in favor of it. Waste of time!

Elwood April 23, 2014 at 7:46 PM

When I saw the puff piece for Fatty Bonilla, I knew one for Marky Mark couldn’t be far behind.

Some piece of absurdity or other every two weeks from both of them.

Classy April 23, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Just legalize everything.Problem solved. No more bills are needed.

Sharla April 23, 2014 at 8:06 PM

What is it now, mark. So glad I moved, but I miss my city.

Read above April 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

comments to understand why America is wasting

@24 April 23, 2014 at 9:38 PM

What’s the point?

We have corrupt cops getting busted daily around the country, locally, one was busted for stealing prescription meds from innocent citizens. Others were busted for following orders from private investigators, others with pedophilia charges. We have corrupt State politicians across the country, getting busted for bribery and other illegalities. Yee was promising to import shoulder-fired-grenades to nationally-based gangs and yes, bribery. Leland Yee…advocate of gun control? you should be charged with treason, really…you should. Calderon? Calderon’s brother? We have both chambers of Congress and a coolio Prez signing spending bills that enthusiastically drive the country into a debt-filled oblivion. Along the way we have a media that covers all the butts on the left and right simply to retain access to those in power. The peons and idiots are those that support their political party, swallowing the propaganda of the left and right. Should I be thankful for this meager bill that simply grows the government for growing the governments sake? Show me you’re serious by sending the busted prescription meds stealing cop to unprotected state prison and I’ll begin to take you seriously. Until then,,,

What’s the point?

MrDioji April 23, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Good. This is a step in the right direction to help curb the prescription drug abuse problem. Amazing how negative people can be about

And #8, Tylenol (or ibuprofen) should be the first pain reliever to try before drugging you all up. It’s freaking knee surgery with pins and staples. You should feel since pain from that.

Mark April 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM

So junkies abuse prescription drugs and the solution is to crack down on all users, legitimate or not. Senior citizens in pain have to suffer and be scrutinized by and satisfy some 20 year-old pharmacy staffer for their meds? Nice job DeSaulnier.

I support Mark! April 24, 2014 at 12:53 AM

There are some very ignorant comments here on an important issue. Don’t think prescription drug abuse is an epidemic? Read the CDC article where that’s exactly what they call it. Yes, THAT CDC, the highly respected agency that’s charged with protecting America’s public health & safety, and saving lives.

Under, “What Can We Do?” the CDC recommends Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, exactly what Mark DeSaulnier is trying to implement. These programs are a proven tool against abuses like doctor shoppers, dirty doctors and pill mills.

I say kudos to him for being aware that this is a large-scale, serious problem that’s impacting us locally, and for taking action that’s proven to be effective. It’s not designed to take pills away from those who have a legitimate and proven medical need.

So for all those with their head in the sand (or up their arse), here’s a little factoid: Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate EVERY AMERICAN ADULT around-the-clock for one month.

Mark, thank you for your leadership role.

ANON April 24, 2014 at 8:41 AM

“So for all those with their head in the sand (or up their arse), here’s a little factoid: Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate EVERY AMERICAN ADULT around-the-clock for one month.”

Your words — “were prescribed” said it all…the Doctors are doing it– not the cops or the pharmacy–they do not have script pads..start there–Docs are there for the money

anon April 24, 2014 at 8:42 AM

People in serious pain have very few options. My husband has spinal stenosis. Without prescription meds, he would have a very difficult time getting out of bed, let alone walk. Let’s hope these new rules don’t deprive legitimate patients of much-needed medicines.

Thank you April 24, 2014 at 8:58 AM

For saving me from myself. I couldn’t do it without you. Keep up the good work. Can you work on providing alarm clocks for free ? I think it would stimulate the economy because I have trouble getting out of bed to go to work in the morning and if we could all get to work on time it would increase productivity.

It would also decrease unemployment because if I keep showing up to work late, I’ll lose my job and be unemployed. Please help me

@I support Mark! April 24, 2014 at 12:53 AM April 24, 2014 at 9:37 AM

“Mark, thank you for your leadership role”.

People elected to office are representatives of the people in their assigned district. When the people allow their representatives to become leaders, the leaders then control the people. If people want their representatives to rule over them, then why bother with elections any longer?

primo April 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Just yote NO on this wasteful democrat
Instead of these bills,whu don’t you introduce and pass tax reduction bills????????? And then you are good for something.

@ANON #22 April 25, 2014 at 1:11 AM

This is not solely a “greedy doctor” problem.

I guess you’ve never heard of “doctor shopping,” where addicts get multiple scripts from different doctors – commonly opioids, benzodiazepines (e.g. xanax, ativan) or psychostimulants (e.g. Adderall)? Without some kind of drug monitoring program, a doctor can’t see, for example, that Joe Blow, who comes in for “panic attacks,” already got xanax scripts from 3 different doctors that month. These aren’t necessarily greedy doctors; each one may feel he/she is providing legitimate medical treatment, not realizing they’re feeding an addiction.

So yes, these are legal prescriptions the doctors write, but the addict takes advantage of them having no way of knowing about each other’s scripts. Also, addicts use different pharmacies to fill their multiple scripts hoping that nobody will notice.

This is exactly what the pill monitoring programs are trying to catch in addition to dirty doctors/pharmacists and pill mills.

@ #25 April 25, 2014 at 1:23 AM

You have a very dysfunctional idea about elected representatives and their leadership roles. We look to them to provide solutions to our community problems on a larger scale than we can do individually. So Mark DeSaulnier is trying to give us an effective tool to fight a huge public health problem. A tool that the CDC, a respected national agency, has endorsed. If it helps us “rule over” drug addicts who are gaming the system, I say let’s do it.

Do you have a better solution than he does?

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