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Temporary Extension of COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications

Source:  Federal Register

A Rule by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Health and Human Services Department on 05/10/2023


Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services.


Temporary rule.


On March 1, 2023 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in concert with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), promulgated two notices of proposed rulemakings (NPRMs) soliciting comments on proposals to allow for prescribing of controlled medications pursuant to the practice of telemedicine in instances where the prescribing practitioner has never conducted an in-person medical evaluation of the patient. Those NPRMs resulted in 38,369 public comments, which are being closely reviewed. DEA, in concert with HHS, is considering revisions to the proposed rules set forth in the NPRMs. In the meantime, and following initial review of the comments received, DEA, jointly with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is issuing this temporary rule to extend certain exceptions granted to existing DEA regulations in March 2020 as a result of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE), in order to avoid lapses in care for patients. Ultimately, there will be a final set of regulations permitting the practice of telemedicine under circumstances that are consistent with public health, safety, and effective controls against diversion.

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