Calif. medical board under fire amid rising OD deaths

computerpillsParents whose children died of drug overdoses urged California’s medical board on Monday to utilize a tracking database of prescriptions to help identify doctors who over-prescribe powerful narcotics amid the state’s growing addiction epidemic. The testimony came from members of advocacy organizations, including the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, and other individuals and experts who said the board’s failure to investigate complaints of physician misconduct in a timely manner has often had deadly results.

By the time parents were allowed to start their testimony, several of the board’s members had wandered out of the hearing, leaving only five active listeners (the board currently has 15 members.) When one of the parent speakers – a registered nurse whose son was addicted to pills and died of a heroin overdose last year – asked when the full board would be available, one of the members replied “soon” and added that everyone’s testimony would be transcribed.

Not very reassuring.

Among the powerful speakers were Bradley DeHaven, whose son was previously addicted to OxyContin; April Rovero, the founder of NCAPDA after her son died of a prescription drug overdose; and Jodi Barber, producer of the short film Overtaken who lost her son to an Opana overdose.

Read more media coverage of the event here, here, and here.

California’s attorney general recently called for upgrading the cash-strapped database, known as CURES, and establishing two criminal enforcement teams to investigate suspicious patterns of prescribing.

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About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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One Response to Calif. medical board under fire amid rising OD deaths

  1. Maureen Kielian says:

    Wake up Florida! Your “appointed” Board’s of Medicine and Osteopathy, give ANY and ALL physcians the “privilege” to practice medicine in our State. This “privilege” includes writing prescriptions, supposedly for “legitimate” pain. Obviously the mortality rate, at least to the educated public, EXCEEDS ANY acceptable mortality rate. Really, it is simple math. Florida, particularly Broward County is the “epicenter” of this GROSS NEGLIGENCE. Negligence in protecting the “public health safety, a direct quote from the FL Board of Medicine/Osteopathy and Department of Heath Mission Statements.

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