Dan Wood, spokesman for the California board, said some high-profile national cases, like the one involving physician Conrad Murray, implicated in the overdose death of entertainer Michael Jackson, "have made people more aware of what the board does." Additionally, Wood says, "we've managed to reduce the amount of time it takes to process a disciplinary action to just under a year," when prior reports estimated investigation and processing times at two years or longer.
Other reasons may relate to closer relationships between drug enforcement agencies and pharmacies that track the number of times certain doctors prescribe potentially dangerous painkillers such as Oxycontin.
Enforcement activities rose across the spectrum of disciplinary actions, the federation report said.
For example, loss of license or privilege to practice went from 1,815 in 2010 to 1,905 in 2011; restriction of a license or licensed privilege actions rose from 1,296 in 2010 to 1,323 in 2011; other prejudicial actions rose from 1,687 in 2010 to 1,768 in 2011; non-prejudicial actions, such as penalties or reprimands, rose from 854 to 1,038.