More than 840,000 voter signatures turned in by consumer advocates and families victimized by medical negligence have qualified a landmark patient safety ballot measure for the November 2014 California ballot, according to the Secretary of State's office. Voters will have a chance then to enact the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act and some of the strongest patient safety laws in America.
"The patient safety protections in this ballot measure will save lives and protect families from dangerous, impaired and drug dealing doctors " said Bob Pack, proponent of the Pack Act, whose two young children were killed by a drunk and drugged, doctor-shopping driver who had been overprescribed thousands of pills from Kaiser physicians despite not having physical symptoms. "Today, California voters have taken the first step in making sure that more families like mine don't have to experience the pain of losing a child due to dangerous medicine. No family should suffer because a doctor recklessly prescribes pills to an addict, is a substance abuser, or commits repeated acts of medical negligence."
The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act:
- Mandates random drug and alcohol testing of doctors modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration's testing of airline pilots, and testing after an adverse event in a hospital;
- Requires that physicians check the state's existing prescription drug database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs to first-time patients to curb doctor-shopping drug abusers (Bob Pack created the database);
- Promotes justice for patients and legal deterrence to wrongdoing by adjusting the state's malpractice cap to account for 38 years of inflation, while maintaining the existing cap on attorneys' fees
- Requires physicians to report suspected drug or alcohol abuse at work by a colleague, as well as physicians' substandard care if it leads to an adverse event.