CA Opioid Legislation

California Opioid Legislation 

Compiled by Ramon Castellblanch, PhD, Quality Healthcare Concepts, Inc.

Last updated: September 26, 2018



AB 349
Summary: Would grant permanent authority for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to annually establish and update the statewide maximum allowable reimbursement rates for Drug Medi-Cal (DMC) by means of bulletins or similar instructions; would authorize DHCS to annually establish and update the DMC statewide maximum allowable reimbursement rates by means of bulletins or similar instructions without being required to adopt regulations until July 1, 2020.
Fiscal Impact: negligible costs
McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Sponsor: California Opioid Maintenance Providers
Status: Signed into law

AB 2384
Summary: Would ban prior authorization and other insurer barriers on certain prescriptions for medication-assisted treatment.
Fiscal Impact: assuming this bill only applies to opioid-related treatment, costs of approximately $24.7 million in net change
Author: Arambula (D-Fresno)
Sponsor: California Medical Association (CMA)
Opposition: America’s Health Insurance Plans
Status: Vetoed

AB 2487
Summary: Would give physicians of choice of continuing medical education (CME) that could lead to overprescribing opioids or CME on treating opioid use disorder; currently, physicians required to take first course.
Fiscal Impact: negligible costs
Author: McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Support: California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (CA ACEP)
Status: Signed into law


SB 275
Summary: Would require DHCS to convene an expert panel to advise on the development of youth substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, etc, as specified.
Fiscal Impact: Unknown, significant cost pressure to reimburse counties for any increased costs associated with meeting staff competency standards required by this bill. this bill creates cost pressure to provide significant additional funding to provide additional adolescent SUD services
Author: Portantino (D-San Fernando Valley)
Support: California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), Service Employee International Union (SEIU)
Oppose: Department of Finance
Status: On Governor's desk

SB 823
Summary: Would require DHCS to adopt the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) treatment criteria as the minimum standard of care for licensed adult alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities (RTFs).
Fiscal impact: Potential increased oversight and enforcement staff costs to DHCS, potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars General Fund, to ensure compliance and provide technical assistance to ensure ASAM standards are implemented in licensed treatment facilities.
Author: Hill (D-Palo Alto)
Support: CSAM, SEIU
Oppose: Department of Finance
Status: On Governor's desk

SB 992
Summary: Would require all RTFs certified or licensed by DHCS to disclose business relationships to DHCS.  Would provide DHCS more oversight authority over RTFs.
Fiscal Impact: Minor and absorbable
Author: Hernandez (D-San Gabriel Valley)
Support: Disability Rights California, Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Status: On Governor's desk


AB 2256
Summary: Would allow pharmacists to furnish naloxone to law enforcement agencies under certain conditions.
Fiscal Impact: No significant state fiscal impact
Author: Santiago (D-Downtown L.A.)
Support: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Status: Signed into law

AB 2760
Summary: Would require a prescriber to prescribe naloxone when prescribing high-dose opioids, co-prescribing opioids and benzodiazepine, or when certain other conditions are met.  Would require a prescriber to provide education to patients receiving a naloxone prescription.
Fiscal impact: Negligible
Wood (D-Healdsburg)
Support: McKesson
Opposition: CMA, CA ACEP
Status: Signed into law


AB 1753
Summary: Would authorizes the Department of Justice to reduce or limit the number of printer vendors used to produce prescription pads.
Fiscal Impact: One-time costs of $884,000
Author: Low (D-Campbell)
Support: California Life Sciences Association, California Police Chiefs
Status: Signed into law

AB 1998
Summary: Requires every health care practitioner authorized to prescribe opioids to adopt a safe prescribing protocol. The State Department of Public Health to utilize data from CURES to report on progress toward to-be-specified opioid prescription reduction objectives.
Author: Rodriguez (D-Inland Empire)
Support: California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
Opposition: CA ACEP
Status: Senate Appropriations suspense

AB 2783
Summary: Reconciles differences between California’s controlled substance schedules and the corresponding federal controlled substance schedules.
Author: O’Donnell (D-Long Beach)
Sponsor: CA Board of Pharmacy (BOP)
Status: passed out of senate

AB 2789
Summary: Would require that all health care practitioners authorized to issue prescriptions to be capable of electronically prescribing and requires that all prescriptions for controlled substances be transmitted electronically, with exceptions, by January 1, 2022.
Fiscal impact: Negligible
Support: Pharmacy chains, McKesson, Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN)
Opposed: CMA
Status: Signed into law

SB 1109
Summary: Would require a warning label on all containers for dispensed prescriptions of opioids that reads: "Caution: Opioid. Risk of overdose and addiction."
Fiscal Impact: Minor and absorbable
Author: Bates (R-Laguna Hills)
Support: Office of the San Diego County District Attorney (sponsor), McKesson, CMA
Status: Assembly floor


AB 1751
Summary: Would provide a framework for the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) to connect with other states that comply with California’s patient privacy and data security standards.
Fiscal Impact: One-time costs of $516,000 and $2.5 million
Author: Low (D-Campbell)
Support: California Board of Pharmacy, California Pharmacists Association
Opposition: ACLU
Status: senate floor

AB 1752
Summary: Requires all Schedule V controlled substances like cough syrups containing opioids to be monitored in CURES.
Author: Low (D-Campbell)
Sponsor: CA BOP
Opposition: ACLU
Status: Senate Appropriations suspense

AB 2086
Summary: Would allows prescribers of controlled substances to review a list of patients for whom they are listed as the prescriber in CURES.
Fiscal Impact: Negligible
Author: Gallagher (R-Chico)
Support: CMA, McKesson
Status: Signed into law


SB 212
Summary: Would require drug-makers or wholesalers to develop and implement a statewide drug and sharps take-back program.  Would require the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to oversee and enforce each plan.  Would preempt local drug take-back programs enacted by an ordinance after April 18, 2018.
Fiscal Impact: $3 million to implement the provisions of the bill.
Author: Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)
Support: California Product Stewardship Council, California Resource Recovery Association
Oppose: PhRMA
Status: On Governor's desk