In some districts of California, there are more opioid prescriptions than residents. The state is trying to change prescribing practices, but the necessary technology is not yet mature.
The CURES state opioid database has been around for decades, but recently rebooted to make it faster and easier to use. A 2016 law requires physicians to review the database before prescribing opioids to ensure that patients do not double.
But the Department of Justice, which heads CURES, said recently that the system will not be ready this summer. The mandate will not come into force until six months later
Carmen Balber of California Consumer Watchdog said it should have happened a while ago.
"We are disappointed that it has not come into force Nevertheless, and frankly, we are really worried that every day we delay, another patient in California is endangered," she said.
Public health officials said doctors could restrict CURES on prescription opioid abuse and reselling. In Kentucky, prescriptions for patients seeking analgesics fell 54 percent in the year following the entry into force of their government database mandate.
Virginia Herold of the California Board of Pharmacy said that pharmacists are already applying CURES on a regular basis, although it is not
"When [pharmacists] a CURES report is looked at and they see that in the last two weeks a number of Medication is delivered to this patient … this patient comes in every month and gets refills early, is on several controlled medications … we expect the pharmacist to refuse to take the prescription. "
There are a handful Invoices that address CURES this year, including one that links CURES to other countries' databases.