Atty. General Establishes Michael Jackson Drug Database
Prompted by the drug-related deaths of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith, state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced today the creation of an online database aimed at preventing "drug seekers" from shopping for doctors to obtain prescription medications.
"The recent deaths of Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson have made clear to the whole world just how dangerous prescription drug abuse can be," Brown said. "Today, my office is inaugurating a high-tech monitoring system that will enable doctors and law enforcement to identify and stop prescription- drug seeks from doctor-shopping and abusing prescription drugs."
The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System--or CURES--contains more than 100 million entries documenting controlled substances in California. The secure database will be available to doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement officials.
The database replaces a system that required mailing or faxing written requests for information. More than 60,000 such requests are generally made to the Attorney General's Office every year, according to Brown.
Brown said the new database will make it easier for doctors to track patients' prescription drug histories by giving them instant access to controlled-substance records.
Each database record contains a patient's drug record, including the name of the drug; date the prescription was filled; quantity, strength and number of refills; pharmacy name and license number; doctor's name and DEA number; and prescription number.
Brown said that by offering instant access to such records, and physician can immediately determine whether a new patient has a legitimate need for medication or is simply "doctor-shopping" to obtain prescriptions for various medications.
Jackson, 50, died June 25 from what the coroner's office determined was an overdose of the powerful prescription sedative propofol. According to court records, the singer used a variety of pseudonyms over the years to obtain various prescription medications. Police are continuing to investigate whether Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, or other doctors may have violated any laws that contributed to the singer's death. Murray has not been arrested or charged in the case.
Two doctors and an attorney, meanwhile, were indicted on conspiracy and other charges stemming from the prescription medication overdose death of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, who died Feb. 8, 2007. Prosecutors contend that the trio helped funnel medications to Smith in the years leading up to her death.