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Consumer Group Says California Doctors Should Be Drug Tested

— The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog is calling for mandatory drug testing for doctors in California. The push comes in response to news reports about doctors who over-prescribe painkillers like Vicodin.

Aired 2/11/13 on KPBS News.

The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog says doctors in California should be drug tested.

A recent series in the LA Times identified a number of doctors whose patients died from overdoses of prescription painkillers.

Consumer Watchdog says California should randomly drug test all doctors who prescribe narcotics. The group says patients shouldn't have to fear being treated by drug-addicted physicians.

La Mesa ear, nose and throat doctor Ted Mazer said random drug testing is a terrible idea.

"It's an over-response that's not going to resolve the problem of prescribing," he said. "It's going to be unnecessary testing, and it's invasive and insulting."

Mazer admitted there are physicians who are addicted to drugs. But he argued it doesn't make sense to drug test all doctors because of a few bad ones.

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