In an effort to curb the growing opioid epidemic, a new state law wants to make it harder for people to receive multiple prescription medications.
Starting Oct. 2nd, Senate Bill 482 will mandate health care practitioners to use the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database prior to issuing new prescriptions to patients, or once every four months if a prescription is ongoing.
"We’ve had very good results to date within our program," said Kaiser Permanente assistant medical director Dr. Stephen Capon. "But, what the CURES legislation does is it sets us all to the same standard throughout the state."
The Senate bill, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016, does exclude emergency departments and surgical teams from complying, according to the law those groups can prescribe a non-refillable supply without first consulting.
San Diego County’s prescription drug abuse task force has reported more than 200 deaths annually from 2012 to 2016 due to unintentional prescription drug abuse.
Dr. Capon agrees with the new law and said this will help hold physicians accountable.
"So that everyone is expected to check the CURES website and look for evidence of excessive administration of narcotics," said Dr. Capon.