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A troubled California database that allows doctors to check which patients are already receiving potentially addictive prescriptions is currently being relaunched. But one doctor argues that the state needs to do far more to stem prescription drug deaths than simply revamp CURES.

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California is taking another run at requiring doctors to check a patient’s prescription history before prescribing potentially addictive drugs, with legislation passing the state senate yesterday. But will California legislators make the same kinds of compromises with providers that Oklahoma did?

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Oklahoma is one of only a handful of states that require physicians to check a patient’s prescription history before prescribing potentially addictive drugs. How did Oklahoma enact this requirement when so many other states, such as California, have tried and failed?

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New rules go into effect today that will make it harder for doctors to prescribe some of the nation's most popular painkillers. Doctors can no longer sign off on automatic refills, nor can they call or fax in prescriptions for hydrocodone products, now classified as Schedule II drugs.

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California says it will take millions of dollars to kick start and run a useful database to track prescription drugs. For now, the program appears like a knight hunched over his computer surrounded by stacks of documents, fighting a losing battle against the dragons of painkiller abuse.

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Numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals about pain as well as media coverage of pain begin with the premise that far more people suffer from pain than are adequately treated for it. This broad trend may be true, but the specific numbers sometimes used to justify this assertion merit more scrutin

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Maia Szalavitz offers blunt advice for folks covering addiction and drug use: "Think critically. Don't be the readers' nanny. You aren't there to send 'the right message.'"

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How many times do you see pain patients who aren’t addicted represented in stories about prescription painkillers? Maia Szalavitz weighs in.

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A high-level painkiller probe, why the GOP is targeting Medicare in an election year, the military's massive free health clinic in Alabama and more from our Daily Briefing.

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Facebook promotes organ donation in a big way, the pros and cons of breakfast at school, and an attack on alternative medicine, plus more from our Daily Briefing.



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