Opioid bill adds new requirements for doctors

ATLANTA (AP) - A group of state senators have approved a bill that aims to address the ongoing opioid crisis.

In a tight vote, the Senate Health and Human Services committee passed the proposal Thursday, paving the way for a full Senate vote in the weeks to come.

The bill requires all physicians to register with and use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which aims to prevent doctor hopping and weed out physicians who are over prescribing.

The penalty for failing to comply would be a minimum of a misdemeanor.

Previously, enrollment was voluntary, though pharmacists have been required to participate for years.

The bill only makes it tougher to prescribe drugs that are shown to contribute to the opioid crisis.

It would permanently make the overdose reversal drug naloxone available over-the-counter.