Calif. Seeks Improved Prescription Tracking

Some good may be coming out of the death of singer Michael Jackson: the state of California is looking to improve its prescription-drug tracking system to prevent the kinds of abuses that contributed to the fatal overdose of the ’King of Pop.’

The Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 15 that the state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) has more than 100 million entries on prescriptions of controlled substances, but response time has lagged for doctors and pharmacists trying to determine if a patient was seeking a legitimate prescription.

Proposed upgrades to CURES would allow instant tracking via the Internet and would give access to the system to law-enforcement officials, as well.

Changes to the system were first proposed after the death of actress and model Anna Nicole Smith, who died of an overdose last year and had been supplied with prescription drugs by her boyfriend and two doctors. Jackson also allegedly received prescription medications from various sources, including the use of pseudonyms.

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