California's medical board is backing measures to combat prescription drug abuse.
The Los Angeles Times says the board on Friday voted to support legislation requiring coroners to report prescription drug overdose deaths to the board and to give the panel new power to halt a doctor's prescribing.
The board also voted to create a task force to develop guidelines for prescribing painkillers.
The board is charged with overseeing physicians in California but its president said last month that it lacks the authority to identify those who might be overprescribing.
A Times investigation last year found that between 2006 and 2011, doctor-prescribed drugs caused or contributed to nearly half the accidental deaths involving prescription drugs in four Southern California counties.