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CA Attorney General Seeks Funding Source for Prescription Drug Database

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A system that tracks prescription drugs and has assisted in several celebrity death investigations is in jeopardy of ending.

That is prompting California's top law enforcement official to seek new funding.

The state created the nation's first prescription drug monitoring program in 1939 and shifted to a computerized database in 1997. The online system tracks prescriptions written by doctors and filled by pharmacies, but nearly fell victim to state budget cuts 18 months ago.

Attorney General Kamala Harris now is working with lawmakers, medical providers and law enforcement agencies to collect enough money to retain and improve the system.

She estimates it would cost about $3.8 million to upgrade the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System and another $1.6 million to run it each year.

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