UPDATE on Aug 25 – Once the votes were officially recorded late last night, the “no-votes-recorded” all clarified their position to be Aye’s. So the impressive 73-0-7 is noweven more impressive – 80-0! If you want to see for yourself, since that kind of bipartisan and unanimous vote doesn’t happen very often, here’s the final ballot. ———-
Today, August 24, the California Assembly voted on SB 482 that would mandate prescribers access CURES (the California PDMP) for all Schedule II-III-IV drugs. The vote was 73 Aye’s, 0 No’s, and 7 No-Votes-Recorded. That’s unanimous. As in no recorded opposition. As in both parties, working together. As in a consensus agreement among a broad range of stakeholders.
The unanimity was appropriate because all of the previous votes in 2016 were likewise:
- Assembly Rules voted 11-0 on May 19
- Assembly Business & Professions Committee voted 16-0 on June 14
- Assembly Appropriations voted 20-0 on August 3
This unanimous vote didn’t happen spontaneously. There was a lot of effort expended by a lot of people to reach this bipartisan consensus. My first meeting about SB 482 was with the Department of Justice’s Executive Administrator Mike Small (who oversee CURES) on January 12. I’ve been actively engaged with the Author’s office, Committee Consultants and Assembly staff since then. My partner throughout has been Lori Kammerer, a long-time Sacramento lobbyist who has ready access to everyone in the Capitol. I have no idea how many steps she walked in support of this bill, but enough to stay skinny. I’m forever indebted to her diligence and professionalism during this process.
In July we joined forces with lobbyists for the Consumer Attorneys of California andShatterproof and worked as a team to explain to every single Assemblymember, their staff and the Committee Consultants responsible for the research on SB 482 why this bill was so important. It’s gratifying to see today’s result.
However, it’s not over. The next step is concurrence in the Senate, which could happen as soon as Thursday. If we pass that hurdle, it’s then onto Governor Brown’s desk for his signature. So we’re definitely not claiming victory … Yet. But we’re close.
If you haven’t read my July 11 blogpost, “A CURES for the Disease“, it’s a good explanation for why this is a good idea. It was used as an educational tool for all of the Assemblymembers and was part of the overall strategy in highlighting the value of this change to prescribing processes. Expect a follow-up once it becomes law.
With all that being said, the real winners are the prescribers and patients who will have more information at their disposal to make the best decision possible about the treatment regimen. The evidence is clear that PDMP data helps create better decisions.
My hope is this unanimous vote sends a significant message and will have ripple effects, not only in California, but throughout the U.S.