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Georgia Approves Prescription Drug Monitoring Program


Georgia has become the latest state to approve a prescription drug monitoring program designed to help stop the abuse of opioid painkillers.

The Lexington-Herald Leader reports that counting Georgia’s law, there are now 35 states with operating monitoring systems. Another 13 have been approved, but are not yet up and running. Only Missouri, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia do not have approved systems, according to the article.

Georgia officials said they hope the prescription monitoring system will be operational by January 2013, if they are able to get grants to fund it.

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed into law a bill designed to shut down “pill mills,” pain clinics that cater to people shopping for opioid medications. The legislation includes a drug monitoring database, which allows pharmacists and law enforcement officials to keep track of prescriptions. Drug monitoring databases are designed to prevent “doctor shopping” and to quickly identify doctors who are passing out prescription medication illegally. Private funds are expected to cover the Florida database’s set up costs and the first 18 months of operation.

20 Responses to this article

  1. Tracey bradshaw / August 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve been in 2 front end collision with no airbag deployment I suffered a damaged and more damage to left shoulder. Subsequently I fell and broke several ribs and did yet more damage to shoulder and even though I was at emergency about every 3 to 4 days for more pain control that my pain mess which are prescribed from a pain management doctor were insufficient at times times to control the pain. I was exactly UP front with hospital of my seeing and being under care of a pain management doctor, a nurse practitioner of whom never exam ed me or inquired what was going on, unilaterally came in and informed me she was putting me on the DRUG SEEKING BEHAVIOR list and that was my diagnosis upon leaving . She based that solely upon the pmp. It only shows controlled mess and not other mess that u were prescribed with each occurrence, which I think is SO WRONG,,, it gives a very unfavorable and inconclusive assessment of why u may have been prescribed such controlled drugs.

  2. Avatar of Gunslinger
    Gunslinger / August 17, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I remember being a young man in the VA hospital and hearing the screams of dying cancer patients that were only prescribed medicine every 4 hours. First hour quiet, second and third moans of pain and going on the forth screams of agony. The response by nurses as they lie dying in pain was “the doctor only allows this kind of medication every 4 hours”.

    We have come a long way since then but we are getting ready to swing back to that mentality, as I have learned as a patient that recently has had very painful surgery and a documented history of never using drugs or being prescribed pain medicine. It’s sickening and you can bet your rear end no physician will ever be in that kind of pain.

    • Gaston / June 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      The purpose of the drug monitoring system is to assure that nobody fools the doctor to get medication for abuse. This way we’ll be able to help the patients that really need the medication with confidence.

  3. Avatar of SJ
    SJ / February 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    What are patients who need these medications supposed to do? This is the only mdication- Methadone – that enables me to walk and get out of bed. Ive had 2 doctors in the last 4 years say they will no longer prescribe – partly because of these regulations – plus fear of lawsuits now – and the increase paperwork and the profits for procedure after procedure makes them more $$. I desperately need this medication and cant even find a doctor who will prescribe it. I have history of back problems and medication documented; I dont abuse drugs and without them, I will not be able to leave my bed which will hurt other of my illnesses. I cant call a doctors office to find out if they prescribe it – Most pharmacies wont even carry it and Im about to die without it – The irony …And no one can help. Called doctors, CDC, pain doctor associations and Im going to end up dying of pain

  4. Avatar of laurie
    laurie / October 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    there is a genetic test available that determines whether you are metabolizing the medicine. if not, then it’s not gonna work and may need a different dose or different medicine for pain relief. ask your doctor for the test. its called pharmacogenomic testing.

  5. Avatar of John Smith
    John Smith / September 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

    The government needs to stay the hell out of our lives. Soon you will need a permit to fart.

  6. Avatar of albert smith
    albert smith / April 6, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I have Muscular Dystrophy and already have been cut off of Pain Meds. I think someone needs to crush the Legs and Hands of these idiots and refuse to give them any kind of Pain Killers then they would know how those of us with pain feel.I will get what I need by staying drunk
    When this goes into effect you will see more illegal Drug sales and people getting killed by Drunk Drivers. The Drug enforcement officers could carack down on illegal sales with out hurting people that need pain killers most Pain Management Clinics are to blame for this. Close them down and allow the Primary Care Doctors to give these Meds to their patients. The Primary Care Doctors know which patients need then.

  7. Avatar of duck
    duck / March 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I live in Ga and I’m in pain management. I am only 30 and its hard to keep a full Tim job when you throw up all the time from hurting so bad. Then your doctor is scared to give you what you really need to have a some what of an existence and you can’t keep up with kids etc because of pain. It’s like a prison and unless you are truly in pain you don’t understand what its like. It’s sad my life is now controlled by people who have no clue what I go through everyday just to barely live. This is where the diversion comes into play. No job, can’t get any insurance, so unless you are rich, have a rich family, or have money somewhere you have to have someone pay for you to go see a doctor and they want the Meds to sell and abuse. At that point you get stuck in a cycle you can’t escape. It’s sad really. I have seen this happen and pray it doesn’t happen to me but the only other option would be to suffer or die.

  8. Avatar of jody
    jody / March 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    the other big thing is that tolerance is a big facter in pain magment and when one needs more meds because of it and the docter says no cause the dea says there is a limit? and who are they to say that is all you need that in plenty to take care of your pain, and when that happens you find these patients shopping for more to take care of there needs. there is so much money spent in the goverment on drug issues. so much and they dont make a damm lick of difference not one bit. the more they do the bigger it gets. take pills away and the heroin will come back ten fold. drugs have been here our whols lives its up to use how we mannage it and the amount of money it takes and its not being done right.

  9. Avatar of R Keane
    R Keane / October 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    There wouldn’t need to be an expensive database for drunk drivers.Maybe try that first.

  10. Avatar of Died Waiting
    Died Waiting / July 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    CMON Georgia – Get Moving!
    Not operational until January 2013? Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea that while you are looking for funds among the Peach Trees, people are dying because they are being allowed to doctor shop and fill all the pain killer prescriptions they need in Georgia.

    So If a driver numbified by Vicodin or Oxycontin kills one of your family members you can tell them you were looking for bucks to buy a computer program.

    Wake up Y’all !

  11. Avatar of john smith
    john smith / December 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    This is just another way big brother is trying to get into our every day lives. Look, pain is subjective, who is to say who hurts and who does not. The DEA approves these medications for use, but then wants to arrest those who take the medications. Different people need different strengths of opiates to achieve pain control. Codein may work for me, but dillaudid is needed for my cousin.

  12. Avatar of Perry
    Perry / July 1, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Sorry Mr.Smith, I understand your PAIN I’m the co-owner of a pain clinic and I have to disagree with you.Primary care doctors should not be giving medication for pain.That should be left to a doctor who specializes in this field that you trust(not always agree with but trust with your life).What you are saying is just like going to a primary doc. for brain surgery,this probably will not work out to well for you. FIND A PLACE AND PAIN DOC. YOU TRUST, good luck to you.

  13. Susan / August 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    the reason I might disagree with you about the increase in drunk drivers is that the problem they are trying to address is people coming from other states, like West Virginia, doctor shopping and buying up as many drugs as they can to use and to resell. It’s not so much the residents of Georgia they are targeting. And if you have the same doctor all the time there shouldn’t be a problem. And yes, you have to decide sometimes between addiction that can result from more drugs and pain control. If you work with your doctor hopefully you can find the right balance. And combine with other means to control pain.

  14. Avatar of Robb
    Robb / September 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

    So is the Geogia Perscription Monitoring Program in full effect here in Georgia or what’s really going on out there at this moment with it? Any Help with this Question would be great? Thanks, Robb
    Mr. John Smith do you have any idea about the matter??????

  15. Avatar of Intime
    Intime / December 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Mr. Perry, I would like to hear what you might propose as person in this industry. The government is getting out of control because of there lack of knowledge on this subject. For once, the people that run our government need to understand what they are dealing with in order to better handle this situation. They need to sit down with a group of responsible drs. AND citizens in pain so that they may better understand the correct course of action on this subject. ” He who sits high and mighty on his thrown up in the sky has no idea what is holding that thrown to the ground below him”

  16. SJ / February 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    So how do people who legitimately need this type of medication do? Ive had 2 doctors in 4 years say the fear of lawsuits and increase government hassle has made them give this up – esp when they can make more money with procedures in this fee for service medical system. I cant call a doctor to find out if they will prescribe and in 4 short weeks, I will not be able to get out of bed, my other health conditions will deteriorate. Patients who need this drug and dont abuse it are made to feel lke criminals and are being punished. I will die if Im in pain 24/7 as my life will be over. Plus cant imagine forcing a patient to stop medication cold turkey is a good idea either; doctors switched me to Methadone from Oxycontin – and now they have no other options except temporary injections that have always made my condition worse. Tried contacting the GA Society of Pain Physicians and they wont even respond.

  17. Avatar of Dessy
    Dessy / March 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Sorry perry to some degree I agree but to a large part I don’t. You neglect to take into consideration the COSTS involved in going to pain management. Some of us have HIGH co pays and this is just another “doctor” to add to our monthly expenses. I think medicine has simply found a way to enter into the drug game….but they are doing it legally, and people are suffering. I am talking real people who have real chronic pain. All of us are not abusers or don’t sell our medications. Believe it or not some of us actually need our meds to function. Pain is horrible and can be debilitating. I would expect someone who “co owns” a legal drug distribution center should know that. But then again it’s all about the dollar, and pain doctors and clinics are no different from the boy on the corner selling his grandmothers pain meds

  18. Avatar of Jan
    Jan / January 19, 2014 at 1:23 am

    How loudly does any patient have to shout to be heard???? Repeatedly these are seemingly reliable comments from REAL people, in REAL Pain. This legislation simply makes it difficult/impossible for primary care physicians to prescribe. How does this across the board ignorance help either truly dedicated and competent physicians practice medicine, or help patients in legitimate need?? If one does not hear the msg. repeated over and over within this small sample alone, WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE HELPING THROUGH THIS IGNORANCE? Spare me the nonsense. Let’s do SOMETHING effective and HELPFUL.

    This response is in support of remarks by GUNSLINGER. If you don’t hear that…may the Grace of God help you.

  19. Dessy / March 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I am with you…WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT…we are not abusers, addicts, drug dealers or any of those. We are real people with DOCUMENTED problems that REQUIRE pain medications.

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