Physicians urged to utilize database that monitors prescription drug usage

May 09, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: CURES Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Patient Care 

The California Medical Association (CMA) encourages physicians who prescribe controlled substances to use the California Department of Justice (DOJ) prescription drug monitoring program, known as CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System). CURES allows authorized users, including physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement and regulatory boards, to access information about a patient’s controlled substance prescription history.

The mission of CURES is to prevent pharmaceuticals from falling into the wrong hands, while promoting legitimate medical practice and quality patient care. If prescribers and dispensaries have access to controlled substance history information at the point of care, it helps them identify and assist patients who may be abusing controlled substances, make appropriate prescribing decisions and cut down on prescription drug abuse in California.

Registered users can access CURES to verify a patient’s controlled substances history before prescribing and the information can be used to help identify a patient who may be “doctor shopping.” The system entrusts that well-informed prescribers and pharmacists can and will use their professional expertise to evaluate their patients’ care, prevent inappropriate use of drugs and assist those patients who may be abusing controlled substances.

Registration is only required to access the database. No action is necessary to have your prescribing data added to the database. That will happen automatically when the drug is dispensed. A common misconception is that if a physician does not register for CURES, then their prescribing information will not be included in the database. Pharmacies and other dispensers of controlled substances are, however, required to report all prescriptions for controlled substances regardless of whether the prescriber has registered for CURES.

In order to access to the CURES system, prescribers and pharmacists must complete the following:

  1. Pre-register online.
    Complete the registration application at https://pmp.doj.ca.gov/pmpreg.

  2. Print and notarize the registration confirmation.
    Upon completion of the online registration, immediately print your registration confirmation. The confirmation page is the user application form, which must be signed, notarized and submitted to the DOJ with copies of supporting documents (see below.)

  3. Gather supporting documents.

    1. Copy of medical license or pharmacy license;

    2. Copy of Drug Enforcement Administration registration; and

    3. Copy of government issued identification.

  4. Mail completed application packages to the DOJ.
    California Department of Justice
    P.O. Box 160447
    Sacramento, CA 95816

  5. Verify your email.
    Applicants will receive an email requesting verification of their email address. This notification is automatically generated once the online registration has been submitted to DOJ. E-mail verification must be completed within 72 hours.


For assistance with the registration process, contact the CURES Help Desk at (916) 227-3843 or pmp_registration@doj.ca.gov. Please note that a response may be delayed due to insufficient staffing as a result of DOJ budget cuts. If you need additional assistance, please contact CMA's Scott Clark at sclark@cmadocs.org.

CMA is working with other stakeholders to secure funding for this important public health tool. We are also working with DOJ to create a new version of CURES that is more user-friendly for physicians.

For more information on the CURES program:


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