New Ballot Measure Will Require Doctors To Undergo Drug Testing | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

New Ballot Measure Will Require Doctors To Undergo Drug Testing

The measure is sponsored by Bob Pack, a California man whose children died in a car crash caused by an addict.

Image: 

Bob and Carmen Pack with Troy and Alana.
Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

03/27/14

| Share

An emotionally charged ballot measure that California voters will decide on in November could require doctors throughout the state to undergo routine drug testing.

The Troy And Alana Pack Act is being sponsored by Bob Pack, a man whose children died in a car crash caused by an addict who doctor-shopped and was prescribed thousands of narcotics painkillers. The ballot measure has already collected 830,000 signatures and has been spurred on by grieving families who lost loved ones due to medical negligence.

The bill would require doctors to undergo random drug testing, consult a database to make sure their patients aren’t already abusing drugs before writing prescriptions, and drastically increase the limit of $250,000 in "pain and suffering" damages in medical malpractice awards. Among the most egregious cases of negligence reported are one man who entered a vegetative state after his allegedly alcoholic cardiologist walked out in the middle of surgery to get lunch. Jamie Court of nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog said that, “18 percent of doctors have a substance abuse problem during their careers.”

But many doctors and hospitals who have opposed the measure believe it’s unnecessary and expensive. Jason Kinney of the Protect Access Coalition said the measure is “really just about increasing trial lawyer’s fees.”

It's not just doctors abusing drugs themselves that lawmakers are concerned about. Last March, lawmakers in Sacramento called for the Medical Board of California to use a statewide prescription database known as CURES to help identify which doctors are overprescribing narcotics.

"If we are going to take seriously the role of patient protection, then we have to be proactive in determining if there is a pattern of overprescribing," said Assemblyman Richard Gordon, who co-chairs a joint legislative panel that oversees the medical board.

Currently, the board only launches investigations in response to complaints.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv