California at Risk of Losing Narcotic Painkiller Monitoring System

In 2009, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a statewide database system designed to curb the illegal sale and distribution of prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. More than 40 states now have similar systems in place, but according to a recent article in The New York Times, California’s system seems destined to fail.

The purpose of a drug monitoring database like CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) is to allow pharmacists to look up the prescription histories of customers and refuse to fill prescriptions for individuals who appear to be abusing drugs. The database can also be used by physicians to determine if a patient has visited other doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions.
According to The New York Times, one of the fundamental problems with CURES is that enrollment in the system is optional. The Medical Board of …

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Drug Summit Focuses on Unabusable Prescription Pills

Many of the nation’s leaders met last week in Orlando to strategize on new ways to combat the nation’s prescription drug epidemic.

At the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, government agencies and health care providers discussed strategies to curtail drug abuse and addiction. Part of the focus of the summit was on how scientists can reformulate the most abuse drugs to render them “unabusable.”

Keynote speaker Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, called on pharmaceutical companies to continue to work on ways to deter drug abusers from tampering with prescription pills.

The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit was organized by Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug group. Conference organizers hope to foster more cooperation between various agencies that are dealing with the nation’s prescription drug epidemic. Conference topics include education, prevention, treatment and law enforcement.

The White …

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