Prescribing Update – FL Nonopioid Law

Effective July 1, 2019, the state of Florida requires providers to inform their patients of available non-opioid alternatives for the treatment of pain before prescribing, ordering, dispensing or administering an opioid to their patients.

Such alternatives may include:

  • Non-opioid medicinal drugs or drug products,
  • Interventional procedures or treatments,
  • Acupuncture,
  • Chiropractic treatments,
  • Massage therapy,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Occupational therapy, or
  • Any other appropriate therapy as determined by the practitioner.


Providers must also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of non-opioid alternatives (including whether the patient is at high risk for or has a history of abuse or misuse of opioids) , provide an educational pamphlet to the patient and document the non-opioid alternatives considered in the patient’s record.  A summary of the bill can be found here and the full text of the bill is available here.


With this in mind, the below gGastro suggestions may assist your practice in complying with this new statutory requirement:

  1. Create a Guideline for patients with an opioid medication documented in their profile as a reminder/alert to assist the provider with documentation.
  2. Check the PDMP prior to dispensing any opioids and document such a check in the service note.
  3. Create a ribbon in the HPI section that includes a list of non-opioid alternative medications to choose from so that the provider can conveniently select those that have been recommended to the patient.
  4. Create a Custom Section to assist the provider in documenting the non-opioid alternatives that were discussed with the patient.
  5. Create a Macro in the plan to remind your providers to discuss all of the points required by the statute with each appropriate patient.
  6. Obtain a copy of the Department of Health pamphlet (available here) regarding nonopioid alternatives and attach to an instructional order for printing at time of checkout.


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