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State medical board seeks reports of doctors who prescribe too much

LOS ANGELES — The California Medical Board is asking for the public's help as it combats reckless prescribing by doctors.

Officials are encouraging people whose relatives died of drug overdoses to contact the board if they believe excessive prescribing or other physician misconduct contributed to the deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/WQgXKx ).

Under state law, the agency has seven years from the time of the alleged misconduct to take disciplinary action against a doctor.

Linda K. Whitney, the board's executive director, told the Times investigators would review autopsies and other records on specific overdose deaths outlined in recent months by the newspaper.

Reports by the Times have documented the connection between doctors' prescribing practices and fatal overdoses involving OxyContin, Vicodin and other narcotic painkillers.

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