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Patient Safety Supporters Call For Mandatory Drug Testing For Doctors

NORWALK ( — Families who claimed to have been victimized by dangerous or intoxicated doctors announced Monday the delivery of hundreds of thousands of signatures for a ballot measure that would require mandatory drug testing for doctors.

KNX 1070's Ron Kilgore reports if approved by voters, the initiative would adjust for inflation the $250,000 limit for pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits that has been law since 1975 up to over $1.09 million.

Patient Safety Supporters Call For Mandatory Drug Testing For Doctors

Supporters are expected to submit a petition with about 830,000 signatures meant to place the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, which would create new California patient safety standards and institute doctor drug testing, on the November ballot.

Technology executive Bob Pack, who authored the initiative, told reporters he lost his young children after a "drunk-driving addict" was over-prescribed pain killers by doctors.

"The woman that ran over Troy and Alana had been receiving thousands of Vicodin and other narcotics from a single HMO hospital, predominantly six doctors who willy-nilly prescribed narcotics to this woman as if it were candy," Pack said.

Officials with the state Legislative Analyst's Office and Department of Finance have said the initiative would result in higher malpractice costs for state and local governments at least in the low tens of millions of dollars, potentially ranging to more than $100 million annually.

Nearly 1 in 5 doctors has reported dealing with a substance abuse problem during their careers, according to the California Medical Board.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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