California to vote on random drug tests on docs


The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act is on the November ballot in California. If voters approve the measure the state will institute random drug tests on physicians with hospital privileges and testing after an adverse event such as a preventable death.

A USA Today report finds that over 100K doctors abuse prescription drugs every year yet few are ever caught despite the risk to patients.

The California Medical Board estimates that 18% of physicians will have a substance abuse problem at some point in their careers and 1% - 2% abuse drugs and/or alcohol at any given time.

In 2008 the state scrubbed a failed substance abuse treatment program because it did not have a mechanism to detect doctors who continued to take drugs nor did it provide for disclosure to patients.

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