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Letters: Cracking down on corrupt doctors

January 17, 2013

Re "Official vows to act on reckless doctors," Jan. 13

The Times has rightly been exposing those doctors in California who overprescribe narcotics and other addicting drugs for the profit they make and not to help patients. Now some in the Legislature want to give the Medical Board of California more investigators to help in this fight.

I have a better idea how to stop those dishonest doctors: have the Legislature stop taking over one-third of the license fee money that doctors pay to fund the medical board and transferring it to the state general fund to cover the budget deficit. Instead, leave the money where it was supposed to go, and the medical board will have enough money to do the job.

Richard F. Corlin, MD

Santa Monica

The writer is past president of the American Medical Assn.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's (D-Sacramento) proposal to require county coroners to report to the medical board all fatal overdoses involving prescription drugs won't do anything to address the real problem.

The state could stop the doctor-shopping and over-prescribing by adequately funding the CURES program, which includes records of all prescriptions for addictive medications, and medical board oversight. The Los Angeles County coroner does not have the staff, the time or the funding to report all prescription-related deaths because these types of deaths are a dime a dozen.

Legislators should focus their efforts at the front end with the CURES program and the medical board, not the back end, where the coroner is determining cause and manner of death.

Dan Anderson

Los Angeles

The writer is the supervising toxicologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

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