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New Drug-Related Laws Recently Signed

Governor Jerry Brown was busy in September completing his review of bills that made their way to his desk after the Legislature concluded its 2018 session on August 31.

With the opioid crisis still very much on legislators’ radars, the end of the 2018 session generated a slew of bills on the issue, with a number of them tied to the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).

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Following are CURES-related bills that have now been fully approved and chaptered:

  • AB 1751 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D- San Jose). This bill requires the California Department of Justice to adopt regulations regarding the access and use of the information within CURES to enter into an agreement with any entity operating an interstate data sharing hub, or any agency operating a prescription drug monitoring program in another state, for purposes of interstate data sharing of prescription drug monitoring program information, no later than July 1, 2020.
  • AB 1753 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D- San Jose). Current law requires prescription forms for controlled substance prescriptions to be obtained from printers specifically approved by the California Department of Justice. This bill authorizes the department to reduce or limit the number of approved printers to three. The bill would require forms for controlled substance prescriptions to have a uniquely serialized number, in a manner prescribed by the department, and would require a printer to submit specified information to the department for all prescription forms delivered. The law takes effective on or before January 1, 2019.
  • AB 2086 by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City). Current law requires the Department of Justice to maintain the CURES database for the electronic monitoring of the prescribing and dispensing of Schedule II, Schedule III, and Schedule IV controlled substances by an authorized healthcare practitioner. This bill will allow prescribers to access the CURES database for a list of patients for whom that prescriber is listed as a prescriber in the CURES database. The law becomes effective on or before January 1, 2019.

Other upcoming laws in this area include:

  • AB 2760 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa). This bill requires a prescriber to offer a prescription for naloxone hydrochloride or another drug federally approved for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression for patients when certain conditions are present and to provide specified education to those patients about how these drugs may be used to prevent an overdose. As specified, a prescriber who fails to offer a prescription, as required, or fails to provide the education and use information shall be referred to the appropriate licensing board solely for the imposition of administrative sanctions deemed appropriate by that board. This law becomes effective on or before January 1, 2019.
  • AB 2487 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). This bill authorizes a physician and surgeon to complete a one-time continuing education course on opiate-dependent patient treatment and management, as specified, as an alternative to the mandatory continuing education course on pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients. The law becomes effective on or before January 1, 2019.

As a reminder, starting October 2, 2018, all authorized prescribers of Schedule II, III, and IV drugs are mandated to use the CURES database when prescribing these substances.


Gabriela Villanueva is CAP’s Public Affairs Analyst. Questions or comments related to this article should be directed to