Dental offices in Georgia, and dental practitioners are governed by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, as well as medical facilities.
The following are tips shared by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency for dentists and physicians who must prescribe drugs.
1. Stamped signatures are not valid for any prescription issued in the State of Georgia. (Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act O.C.G.A 26-4-80(i)).
2. All prescriptions must be issued for a specific patient. (O.C.G.A. 16-13-74 and 16-13-41). Prescriptions issued for “office use” are not valid.
3. The Georgia Medical Board declares it unprofessional conduct for practitioners to write/authorize controlled substance prescriptions for personal use or immediate family members, including spouse, children, siblings, parents. Documented emergencies may be allowed. (Georgia Medical Board Rule 360-03-.02).
4. Practitioners may not issue pre-sign prescriptions to anyone. This includes physicians pre-signing prescriptions for physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. (Georgia Controlled Substance Act O.C.G.A 16-13-41).
5. Practitioners may not post-date prescriptions. All prescriptions must be dated with the date issued (Georgia Controlled Substance Act O.C.G.A 16-13-41). Prescriptions may be written with a “Do not fill until dd/mm/year”.
6. Practitioners may not authorize anyone to utilize his/her DEA registration number. All prescribers must have and use his/her own unique DEA registration number to authorize controlled substance prescriptions. This includes but is not limited to physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners.
7. Only a licensed veterinarian (DVM) may authorize prescription medications for animals. (Georgia Veterinary Practice Act O.C.G.A 40-5-3).
8. Physicians may not prescribe controlled substance medications for known drug addicts.
9. Dispensing physicians (samples excluded) must adhere to specific Georgia laws, rules, and regulations. (See O.C.G.A 26-4-40, 26-4-130, and Georgia Pharmacy Board Rules 480-28).
10. Practitioners must keep accurate records for all patients. All controlled substances must be kept in a patient’s chart.
Narcotics addiction is quickly becoming an epidemic in the United States. Many aspects of government have made the safe prescription of narcotics and other drugs a priority, as it should be. The above tips from the Agency are certainly a good, common sense start to making sure that dentists and doctors safely prescribe narcotics and that the prescriptions for these drugs do not fall into the wrong hands.
Failure to follow these tips and failure to comply with the standard of care for dentistry when prescribing these drugs can lead to actionable negligence and liability on the part of the prescribing practitioner. In addition to these tips, the prescriber must follow all applicable laws and have policies and procedures in place that ensure safe and accurate prescription of drugs.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.