Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Click here for GPPA's one-page informational handout about the PDMP

HB 249: What GPPA Members Need to Know

Passed during the 2017 legislative session, HB 249 overhauls Georgia law regarding the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database in an effort to reduce duplicative prescribing and overprescribing of controlled substances — specifically opioids, or those listed in paragraph (1) or (2) of Code Section 16-13-26 or benzodiazepines.

*This does NOT include Schedule II drugs used for treating ADHD. 

Click here for a complete list of all substances listed in the code section above. 

HB 249 Implementation Timeline

By January 1, 2018:


Every prescriber with a US DEA registration number must enroll and become a registered user of the PDMP.

Between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018:

The Department of Public Health will test the PDMP to assure that it is operational 99.5% of the time.

On July 1, 2018:

The new requirements will go into effect (provided the PDMP is properly operational.)


Prescribers must review the PDMP the first time he or she issues a prescription for an opiate medication or benzodiazepines and once every ninety days thereafter. This requirement does not apply to other scheduled drugs.

 HB 249 provides for the following exceptions for the prescribers’ requirement to update the database:

  • the prescription is for no more than a 3-day supply (or 26 pills) of such substance; 
  • the prescriptions are to be administered and used by a patient on the premises of a hospital or healthcare facility; 
  • the patient has had outpatient surgery and the supply is no more than 10 days (40 pills)
  • the patient is in an outpatient hospice program; 
  • the patient is receiving treatment for cancer.

Prescriber must make documentation in the medical record of when and who checked the PDMP. 

Prescribers must provide patients receiving such prescriptions with information on the addictive risks of opioids.


Prescribers may delegate up to two (2) staff members per shift to have access and update the prescription monitoring database, so long as such individuals are properly licensed or have had a proper criminal record background check — but can be held liable for any misuse of the data. 

Prescribers may use data from the PDMP to communicate misuse, report patient to DPH, and document in the health record.

Prescriber can be held administratively liable for not checking if there is an adverse outcome. 

There are a series of escalating penalties for misuse of the PDMP data (for anyone.) Any penalties on a physician would be reported to the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

There is no felony provision for failing to check the PDMP.

In addition to the various PDMP requirements, HB 249:

  • Makes Naloxone easier to access by removing its classification as a dangerous drug so that it can be supplied OTC. 
  • Expands immunity from liability for health practitioners, pharmacists, and other individuals who, acting in good faith, either prescribe dispense, or administer an opioid antagonist.
  • Mandates DPH reports on the diagnoses of and health outcomes related to neonatal abstinence syndrome, or newborn health problems resulting from their exposure to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in the womb. 

Click here to read the entire bill. 

Click here to access the PDMP Database.