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CA DEA Registrants Must Consult with CURES Effective October 2, 2018

Back in September 2016, California Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 482 into law. SB 482, which takes effect on July 1, 2017, requires a California healthcare practitioner registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and authorized to prescribe, order, administer, or furnish a controlled substance to consult the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) 2.0 for a patient’s controlled substance history. The DEA-registered practitioner must do so no earlier than 24 hours, or the previous business day, before prescribing a Schedule II – IV controlled substance to the patient for the first time and at least once every 4 months thereafter if the substance remains part of the patient’s treatment.

Effective Date

Senate Bill 482 was originally supposed to become effective in July 2017. However, according to California Health and Safety Code Section 11165.4(e), the effective date was revised according to the following statement: “This section is not operative until six months after the California Department of Justice (DOJ) certifies that the CURES database is ready for statewide use and that the department has adequate staff, user support, and education.“

According to an April 2, 2018 notice posted on the DOJ’s website, the CURES database is ready for statewide use, and therefore mandatory CURES consultation will become effective on October 2, 2018.


The new law exempts a practitioner from this requirement under specified circumstances, including, among others, when prescribing, ordering, administering, or furnishing a controlled substance to a patient receiving hospice care, to a patient admitted to a specified facility for use while on facility premises, or to a patient as part of a treatment for a surgical procedure in a specified facility if the quantity of the controlled substance does not exceed a non-refillable 5-day supply of the controlled substance.

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