First, do no harm.
ER doctors are afraid CURES will make it hard on them to do their jobs. MDs are trained and inclined to believe, culturally, that they know best. This isn’t reality. Demographically and generationally, many doctors are reluctant to change.
Dirty doctors are the exception, not the rule. Why wouldn’t good doctors want to expose the bad doctors who give them a bad name? Their profession is tainted by overprescribing doctors. We have to have a constant, well thought out, ongoing discussion about the proper prescriptions for each individual. You don’t want to under-prescribe either.
But then there’s April Rovero, whose son died of an overdose. You can hear her tell her story here, on Afflicted by Addiction. Here it is in a nutshell: A drug dealer-student at ASU conducted road trips to a very well known dirty doctor in Southern California. April’s son went on one of these road trips and received prescriptions for “The Holy Trinity”: oxycodone, Soma, and Xanex— even though he had never before been prescribed any of these medications by any doctor anywhere.
Turns out, that doctor had been under investigation by the DEA for close to three years, still practicing. Nearby pharmacies had stopped filling her prescriptions; One had reported her to the DEA.
April established the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) in June 2010. She joined Senator De Saulnier to try and get funding for CURES in 2011. The reason? It offers a lot to both law enforcement and medical professionals.
The doctor was arrested in March of 2012, and she’s still waiting for trial. She’s been charged with the second degree murder of 3 young men (one of them is Joey, April’s son) and 21 other felony counts.
CURES data showed the irregularities—revealed the heavy prescribing. Individuals who were her patients testified for the prosecution. Every time a prescription is filled, it goes into this database. This is gold to the law, who can proactively use data to see who the outlying prescribers are. DEA does use it. Medical Board has not used it. They are supposed to be monitoring the doctors.
The process is still too slow. People are dying. Harm is being done.