DANVILLE (CBS / AP) — The father of two East Bay children killed when a drunk driver high on pain killers ran them down is pushing for a ballot measure to tax prescription drugs to fund the state’s drug-tracking system.

California’s secretary of state cleared 56-year-old Robert Pack of Danville on Tuesday to seek signatures to put his proposal before voters.

The Oakland Tribune reports the measure would impose a quarter-cent-per-pill tax.

The money would fund the state’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, a database that tracks the dispensing of prescription drugs like pain killers to detect possible abuse. The system is threatened by state Justice Department budget cuts.

Pack’s 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son were killed in 2003. Jimena Barreto is serving 30 years to life in prison for second-degree murder.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (20)
  1. Lee says:

    Many seniors have trouble paying for multiple prescriptions now. Adding a tax will just make it more difficult. Seniors often have to choose between needed medications and food. DON’T MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR US!

  2. NoH8SF says:

    Lifesaving drugs are already WAY too expensive since Pres. W. and Congress gave a blank check to BIG PHARMA. How about charging Big Pharma OR prescribing MDs for the tracking of their abuses?

  3. MFL says:

    As a disabled individual who unfortunately needs these painkillers for their original intent, taxing this medication could make it impossible for me to afford. Trust me, I don’t want to have to take opiates – they are horrible for you AND dangerous – but the pain I would suffer would be unbearable.

    Instead of punishing those who use the prescription meds appropriately, and in many cases who can least afford to bear the expense, perhaps it makes more sense to set up better ways to track usage of these medications, and prevent “doctor shopping”, ER visits and other means to obtain the drugs. Doctors and pharmacies already have to use special triplicate prescriptions which are required by the federal government – it makes sense to me to set up an electronic system used by doctors and pharmacies to check to see whether a patient has obtained the meds recently from somewhere else. Yes, abusers will find ways around the system, but that will most likely be getting them off the street, in which case the tax is useless anyway.

    While I feel for Mr. Pack and his loss, punishing those who desperately need these meds for what happened to his children makes virtually no sense, and could have devastating consequences for many, many people.

  4. Peggy says:

    I live in Danville and can still hear the sirens from the night these children were murdered. But people cannot afford to pay another tax. The women who killed his children did not care about human life and taxing others will never change that or that mentality.

  5. Drew Ski says:

    Sad to see Pack thinks his children can come back from the dead with a tax levied on others.

  6. Peter says:

    Another tax for a special interest only.Idiot idea

  7. Bob Pack says:

    just to be clear, the tax is paid by the pharma co’s ..not consumers. The whole idea is to charge the drug co’s since they are making huge profits from illegal sales.
    I would never think to put this burden on the tax payer…period.

    1. Richard says:

      Dear Mr. Pack:
      To think that the pharma co’s will not passed on to consumers this new tax by increasing their prices is to think that Disneyland is the real world.
      I am truly sorry for your loss, but please don’t ask me to pay more for my medications that I need everyday because some government agency is not doing its job properly for lack of accountability on their part.

    2. tn says:

      @ B Pack: Initially, the pharmaceuticals pay for it, however, guess who gets to pay the pharmaceuticals? Yes, you and me. And if this proposed tax gets passed and brings in more money hand over fist, historically speaking, it appears our sworn government will find a way to allocate and fund another special interest. Look at the our bridge tolls, gas tax, Calif. lottery, etc. They’re some of the best “fund raisers” and the proceeds get to fund other stuff while the politicians tell us we’re running out of money. Let’s not start another tax that will ultimately serve another cause.

  8. eight ball in the side pocket says:

    How very true you are right on the mark. Liberal phrenics perceive If some how tax the problem it will go away. Like Cigarettes and booze Taxing those items didn’t make the underlying problems go away or stop alcoholism or cigarette addiction.

  9. Peter says:

    Just to be clear.The tax will be passed along to the consumer.Anybody who thinks the the pharma co’s will not raise prices is naive and ignorant.

  10. Nurse says:

    Only in Danville would a person not realize how expensive prescription drugs are. Many elders choose between eating and taking their medications. People who are in real pain would no longer be able to afford their medication. This tax would cost us more in MediCare and MediCal than it would benefit. I’m sorry for this man’s loss and realize the is grieving, but this tax idea is not even slightly feasable, practical, or affordable. If he really wishes to pursue this concept, he should found a private institution to fundraise for this cause; don’t make it a government issue.

  11. denis says:

    Taxing is not an answer to anything. If you are going to start taxing why not tax bath houses for AIDS research or vasoline for unwanted children?
    Let’s get serious, you can’t stop bad behavior with a tax.

  12. jim says:

    Oh boy another tax by someone with a grudge. Sorry what happened, but what about the people that want the drugs for lifesaving reasons you idiot.

    Good news is this is just a publicity stunt because it will never pass

  13. MK says:

    Yes, we need more taxes. Idiot!

  14. NRA Life Member says:

    Hey, I have a great idea! Why don’t we raise the vehicle tax to cut down on traffic collisions?

    /sarcasm off


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