The March 10th demonstration at the Sacramento Capitol, organized by the NCAPDA, was a great opportunity to call out the California Medical Board (CMB) on their apparent unwillingness to monitor their own doctors. As one parent, James Kennedy (who is one of my radio interviews) puts it: “The fox is guarding the hen house at the CMB!”
Parents are outraged that dirty doctors (drug dealers in white coats) are allowed to practice for years after their abuses are detected, and they are allowed to kill dozens more, addict thousands more, while the CMB pushes paper around and refuses to act on information provided by a State of California Department of Justice system, called CURES, that exposes these doctors. Their paper trail (the lethal prescriptions they write, doling powerful painkillers designed for end of life care to teenagers!) is all but ignored.
The CURES system is the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, “committed to assisting in the reduction of pharmaceutical drug diversion without affecting legitimate medical practice or patient care. The CURES/PDMP is a valuable investigative, preventive, and educational tool for law enforcement, regulatory boards, educational researchers, and the healthcare community,” according to the Department of Justice website.
This system “contains over 100 million entries of controlled substance drugs that were dispensed in California….[and should] 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.”
The implementation/enforcement of this program is apparently down to one employee for all of CA, and is essentially on life support. The website says that they are unable to field inquiries regarding the program at this time because of staffing. Even with these dire financial straits, the CMB literally laughed at the idea of adding $9 a year to their physicians’ licensing fee to help fund CURES. This is not only a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDM) but has provisions to train doctors on the medicines they are prescribing. I waved $9 cash over my head during my testimony to illustrate this absurdity of refusing to pay this meager amount.
The President of the CMA Dr. Sharon Levine was not being entirely forthright at the meeting when she stated that the CMB was “complaint-driven by charter.” She seemed to me to be skirting the issue of why the CMB could not investigate doctors—Just another way to look away from their responsibility to police their own peers and protect the citizens from criminal-doctors.
The saddest part for me may have been the fact that the representatives from the CMB left the hearing after they spoke; and most of the Senate panel also began skulking out one by one during the meeting, leaving just a few to hear the parents who were there to testify. The parents, many of whom were holding pictures of their dead children, were told that the hearing would be on the record and that the panel and the CMB could listen to it later. Outrageous! We are the people and these people work for us!
After this there was a press conference on the steps of the capitol where these same parents each briefly told their stories to reporters from all stations;
Read more here.