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CURES Optimization, New Requirements for Delegates, and First Login On/After April 11, 2022

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will release the optimized Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) on April 11, 2022. Please refer to the DOJ guidance document “New Optimized Cures Being Released On 4/11/2022” for important information on new features of the optimized CURES, supported web browsers, and planned system downtime from Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5:00 PM, through Monday, April 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM.

In addition, CURES optimization will provide expanded Delegate functionality, through which Delegates will be authorized to directly access data in CURES. Practitioners currently utilizing a Delegate must enter into a new Delegate Agreement in order for their Delegate to have continued access to CURES beginning April 11, 2022. New Delegates may also be added via Delegate Agreement. For information about the Delegate access, please refer to the Quick Reference Guide which includes Delegate Agreement samples, and the DOJ guidance document “New Features and Requirements for Expanded Delegate Access.”

As part of the transition to optimized CURES, beginning on April 11, 2022, users will need to complete a few simple steps the first time they log into the system. For more information, please refer to the DOJ guidance document “First Time Login to the New Optimized CURES.”

If you have any questions about optimized CURES, Delegate Access, or browser accessibility, contact the CURES Program at cures@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187.

NEW LAW EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022

Licensed healthcare practitioners with prescribing authority are subject to the e-prescribing requirements established by Assembly Bill (AB) 2789 (Wood, 2018). Beginning January 1, 2022, most prescriptions (including but not limited to prescriptions for controlled substances) issued by a licensed healthcare practitioner to a California pharmacy must be submitted electronically. For more information on this law and its requirements, please see the AB 2789 bulletin. Practitioners also can get answers to questions about complying with the law at Electronic Data Transmission Prescriptions (E-Prescriptions) – Frequently Asked Questions provided by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Notice of CURES Fee Increase

Effective April 1, 2021, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) fee will increase from $6 to $11 annually for a period of two years. The increase will be applied to licenses expiring after July 1, 2021, and is assessed at the time of license renewal on specified licensees of DCA allied health boards that prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substances.

Most licensees will see a $22 CURES Fee due to the biennial renewal cycle. The fee covers the reasonable regulatory costs of the Department of Justice for operating and maintaining CURES, a critical element in the state’s effort to address the growing danger of opioid addiction stemming from prescription drug abuse.

For more information about CURES, visit: https://oag.ca.gov/cures.

NEW LAW EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2021

Assembly Bill (AB) 528 (Low, Chapter 677, Statutes of 2019) expands access and use of the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) effective July 1, 2021. Please see the Joint Bulletin for an update on implementation of system enhancements for delegates and non-Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) practitioners.

For more information on the current requirements for consulting CURES, please refer to the CURES Mandatory Use Brochure.

NEW LAWS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2021

  1. Updated Prescription Pad Security Requirements - California state law requires 15 security elements, including a 12-character serial number and corresponding barcode, to appear on California Security Prescription Forms. State law also requires California Security Prescription Forms to be produced by printers approved by the California Department of Justice’s California Security Prescription Printers Program. To reduce potential negative impact to patients, prescribers and pharmacists are reminded of the provisions related to oral or electronically transmitted prescriptions for any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV and V, Health and Safety Code section 11164(b). Prescribers and pharmacists are encouraged to work together as appropriate to address the needs of patients in possession of noncompliant forms. For more information, please refer to the AB 149 Joint Statement.
  2. Revised Reporting Requirements for Controlled Substances – The dispensing of a controlled substance must be reported to the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) within one working day after the medication is released to the patient or the patient’s representative. Previously, the deadline to report was seven days after dispensing. Further, this law requires reporting of Schedule V drugs, in addition to Schedules II, III, and IV. This requirement applies to pharmacists and prescribers who dispense controlled substances.

What is CURES?

The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ), is a platform that tracks all Schedule II – V controlled substances dispensed to patients in California. Authorized prescribers, pharmacists, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies can view information in CURES including:

  • patient name, date of birth, address
  • prescriber name, DEA number
  • pharmacy name, license number
  • date prescription was dispensed
  • prescription number
  • drug name, quantity and strength
  • number of refills remaining

For assistance with CURES registration, access, or system use, contact the CURES helpdesk at CURES@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187.

CURES Registration

Registration is done through DOJ’s CURES Registration. Only licensed California prescribers and dispensers can register with CURES. (NOTE: If you are with a law enforcement agency or regulatory board and need CURES access, please contact the CURES helpdesk at CURES@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187).

To register, licensed prescribers and dispensers will need:

  • A valid email address. This will be the exclusive email address to which CURES-related correspondence is sent.
  • Your state license information. This information will be verified with the regulatory board issuing your license.
  • Your federal DEA license information (prescribers only). This information will be verified with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

DOJ will process your registration application and send email notification of its approval or denial.

CURES Access

Once you receive DOJ email notification of your approved registration, you can access CURES through DOJ’s CURES Login. Reference the Prescribers, Pharmacists, Non-DEA Practitioners, and Delegates User Guide for detailed information about navigating and using CURES.

Internet Explorer Information: Effective April 2022, the Internet Explorer web browser will no longer be allowed to access CURES. Additional details are available at: https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/media/optimized-cures-ie.pdf

CURES Optimization: Optimization of the CURES database is coming April 2022. Additional information about CURES optimization is available at: https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/media/optimized-cures-announcement.pdf

Data Submission Requirements

For data submission instructions or assistance with transmission issues, please contact:

Bamboo Health, Inc. – CURES Prescription Data Collection Vendor

Technical assistance is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you have questions or need assistance, you can:

An information hub for CURES submitters is also available from Bamboo Health at the following URL: https://pmpclearinghouse.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/4413199216915-CA-CURES-Submitters/

CURES Optimization

The optimized CURES database was released on April 11, 2022, and provides an improved user interface and new system features. Please note that the use of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser will no longer be allowed to access the optimized CURES web application. Additional information about the optimized CURES is available here.

Upon logging in to the optimized CURES for the first time, existing system users will need to perform a few simple steps. These first-time login steps are described here.

The optimized CURES will include expanded Delegate functionality, through which Delegates will be authorized to directly access data in CURES. Additional information about the expanded Delegate functionality is available here.

For More Information

To learn more about CURES, visit the following links:

You must be registered to use CURES, even if you do not actively prescribe or dispense, if you are a:

  • • California-licensed health care practitioner possessing a DEA number
  • • California-licensed pharmacist with an active license

(California Health & Safety Code § 11165.1)

Who is Required to Consult CURES?

Mandatory Use of CURES

Medical Board of California Mandatory Use FAQ

Any health care practitioner authorized to prescribe, order, administer, or furnish a controlled substance, with limited exceptions, including:

  • • Physician and Surgeon
  • • Certified Nurse Midwife (Furnishing)
  • • Dentist
  • • Naturopathic Doctor
  • • Nurse Practitioner (Furnishing)
  • • Optometrist
  • • Physician Assistant
  • • Podiatrist

Note: This requirement does not apply to veterinarians or pharmacists.