Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

By: Dale Slemons, Esq.

Georgia’s House Bill 249 , which was signed into law by Governor Deal last year, has put new teeth into Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Specifically, the law shifts control of Georgia’s PDMP from the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The law further requires that by January 1, 2018 every prescriber who has a DEA registration number be enrolled as a PDMP user. If a prescriber obtains a DEA license after January 1, 2018 they must enroll within 30 days. Prescribers may delegate their authority to check the PDMP to up to two members of their medical staff. However, for a prescriber to delegate this authority to an unlicensed or unregistered staff member, the staff member must submit to an annual registration process that will administered by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy.

The law requires a mandatory PDMP review by the Department of Public Health. By May 31, 2018 PMDP’s had to reflect a 99.5% rating with accessibility and operational compliance. There are certain exemptions from compliance, included but not limited to, prescriptions for no more than a three day supply of a covered substance (if no more than 26 pills), cancer and terminally ill patients, and patients that have had outpatient surgery at a hospital or ambulatory surgical center and the prescription is for no more than a 10-day supply of a covered substance (and no more than 40 pills). Additionally, beginning July 1, 2018 the law includes the prescription of benzodiazepine