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Prescription Drug

May 31, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
The state Senate on Thursday unanimously passed the last bill in a broad package of proposed reforms aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and mounting overdose deaths in California. The bills, inspired by a series of investigative stories in The Times, would help authorities track drug abusing patients as well as doctors who overprescribe painkillers and other addictive narcotics. One bill would give the state medical board the power to immediately suspend the prescribing privileges of doctors suspected of putting patients at risk.
May 7, 2013 | By Christie DZurilla
Brooke Mueller, ex-wife of Charlie Sheen and mother to his twin boys, has been getting treatment for prescription drug abuse since Friday, according to her rep. "Brooke is currently at UCLA Medical Center where she has been since being admitted May 3," Steve Honig told the Ministry in a statement. "She will be there for several more days, and will likely transition directly into a residential treatment facility to get help for prescription drug abuse. " That's contrary to a report that Mueller had been involuntarily checked into the medical center for care on Wednesday.
May 1, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
Fearing lawmakers may fail to pass a package of medical reform bills, a coalition of consumer groups and trial lawyers is mounting a campaign to put before voters an even more ambitious slate of initiatives aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and holding doctors more accountable for misconduct. About two dozen state and national advocacy groups - including the Consumer Attorneys of California, California Nurses Assn., the Center for Public Interest Law, and Public Citizen - have been organizing privately since December and plan to unveil the campaign at the state Capitol on Thursday.
April 27, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Beverly Hills police and the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 52 pounds of old prescription medication Saturday in an effort to get residents to safely dispose of unwanted pills. The Take Back event, held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, was designed as a safe way to clear unused drugs out of medicine cabinets. Old pills are a significant source of abused narcotic drugs, police said, and officials worry about children or pets eating the medicine accidentally. The DEA sponsored Take Back events across the country and in more than 50 other locations throughout L.A. County.
April 26, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
The Medical Board of California on Friday embraced a host of reforms aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and reducing overdose deaths but balked at a proposal to strip it of its authority to investigate physician misconduct. The board, meeting in Los Angeles, voted to support proposed legislation that would upgrade the state's prescription drug monitoring system, require coroners to report prescription drug overdose deaths to the board, and give the panel new power to halt a doctor's prescribing in some cases.
April 21, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
"The thing we try to do first and foremost is watchdog journalism, and everything comes under that line. " Thus did L.A. Times editor and self-proclaimed "chief cheerleader" Davan Maharaj describe the paper's approach to investigative reporting in a panel discussion titled "The L.A. Times and Accountability Journalism" at the Festival of Books on Saturday. In the past year, Maharaj said, "We took on the county assessor's office, a scandal at the county jails, poor fire-response times among LAFD paramedics, poor regulation in recycling" -  and, he quipped, "every aspect of Lindsay Lohan 's interface with the police.
April 19, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
When Maggie Heim had a recurrence of ovarian cancer about a year after her initial treatment, her oncologist suggested that she take what he believed could be a lifesaving drug. There was just one problem: Her insurer wouldn't pay for it. The 59-year-old Hermosa Beach resident inquired about the cost of the treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she received care. To her alarm, she was told that the cancer-fighting drug, Avastin, would set her back as much as $50,000 a month.
April 11, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
In an unusual display of concern, lawmakers overseeing the Medical Board of California have threatened to dissolve the agency unless it "shows significant progress" in protecting patients from dangerous doctors. In a letter, state Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park) called on the board to be more aggressive in monitoring the state's 100,000-plus physicians. Price said Thursday that the letter reflected the consensus of the 11 lawmakers who sit on the committee charged with evaluating whether the board should be reauthorized or allowed to expire, or "sunset.
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