May 14, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy CURES Drug Prescribing/Dispensing
The California Department of Justice (DOJ) has certified that as of April 2, 2018, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) – California’s prescription drug monitoring database – is ready for statewide use. The certification starts a six-month implementation period for the duty to consult requirements enacted by the Legislature in SB 482 (Lara, 2016).
Effective October 2, 2018, physicians must consult CURES prior to prescribing Schedule II, III or IV controlled substances to a patient for the first time and at least once every four months thereafter if that substance remains part of the patient’s treatment. Physicians must consult CURES no earlier than 24 hours or the previous business day prior to the prescribing, ordering, administering or furnishing of a controlled substance to the patient.
The California Medical Association is urging DOJ to take a number of steps to ensure a smooth implementation of the new requirement, including the development of educational materials, user outreach and assistance, and the establishment of a provider workgroup or advisory committee that ensures the clinician perspective is taken into consideration as these tools and resources are created for their use.
The Medical Board of California has also released information on what physicians can do to prepare for October.