Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 30, 2013, 7:30pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris applauded Gov. Jerry Brown for signing legislation she sponsored to upgrade and expand the state's prescription drug monitoring program.

The state Department of Justice's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES, program and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP, allow authorized prescribers and pharmacists to quickly review controlled substance information and patient prescription history in an effort to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion.

"I applaud Gov. Brown for signing this important piece of legislation, which allows us to strengthen a critical tool to fight prescription drug abuse in California," Harris said Friday.

Senate Bill 809 will require all prescribers and dispensers to enroll in, and use, the system.

CURES' funding was slashed when the DOJ took a $71 million budget cut two years ago.

After that, Harris formed a working group to push for an improved prescription drug monitoring system.

SB 809 includes a small increase in the provider license fee of 1.16 percent to pay for the annual cost to operate the program and a one-time assessment on health care plans for the upgrade, which the attorney general says will "modernize" and improve the information gathering and sharing.

Current funding sources are insufficient to operate and maintain CURES. If another source of funding is not identified, Harris said the program will be eliminated.

Also Friday, the attorney general applauded Brown for signing another bill she sponsored, Assembly Bill 370.

The new law amends the California Online Privacy Protection Act to require two new privacy policy disclosures for websites and online services regarding behavior tracking.

Basically, AB 370 would require website operators to disclose in their privacy policies whether they comply with a browser's signal, or other similar mechanism, to disable "online tracking."

"AB 370 makes the invisible practice of online tracking more transparent to consumers, and I applaud the governor for signing this important bill," Harris said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

More News