Friday, September 18, 2009

California Unveils Improved Prescription-Tracking System

On September 15, 2009, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, CURES, unveiled improvements to their prescription medication tracking system, including the capability to instantly flag whether patients are abusing those drugs -- an issue highlighted with the deaths of celebrities Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.

This upgrade is a real-time access Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) system which allows pre-registered users including licensed healthcare prescribers eligible to prescribe controlled substances, pharmacists authorized to dispense controlled substances, law enforcement, and regulatory boards to access real-time patient controlled substance history information.

The state’s database known as the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, C.U.R.E.S, contains over 100 million entries of controlled substance drugs that were dispensed in California. Each year the CURES program responds to more that 60,000 requests from practitioners and pharmacists. The online PDMP system will make it much easier for authorized prescribers and pharmacists to quickly review controlled substance information via the automated Patient Activity Report (PAR) in an effort to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion through accurate and rapid tracking of Schedule II through IV controlled substances.

In order to obtain access to the PDMP system Prescribers and Pharmacists must first register with CURES by submitting an application form electronically at ttps:// In addition, your registration must be followed up with a signed copy of your application and notarized copies of your validating documentation which includes: Drug Enforcement Administration Registration, State Medical License or State Pharmacy License, and a government issued identification.

You can mail your application and notarized documents to: Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), Attn: PDMP Registration P.O. Box 160447 Sacramento, CA 95816.

Attorney Commentary: This will be critical for any physician or health care provider who is engaged in pain management or addiction treatment. It should be part of any compliance plan for these type of practices.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates in Los Angeles, California. They focus their practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have a specialty in representing licensed health care providers including, but limited to, those involved in addiction treatment and pain management. Their website is:


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