Report: prescription-tracking database underused

LOS ANGELES (AP) — State officials say they lack the resources to fully utilize a database that tracks prescriptions for painkillers and other commonly abused drugs.

The attorney general's office tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/WT41U2 ) that budget cuts limit use of the system, known as CURES, which was intended to help physicians and pharmacists see whether patients were obtaining drugs from multiple providers.

The newspaper says California is not among the states that follow federal guidelines to use prescription data to spot signs of irresponsible prescribing by doctors and help prevent overdoses.

The Medical Board of California, which licenses and oversees physicians, has appealed to the public to report instances of excessive prescribing, a step it took in response to recent Times articles on overdose deaths.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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