Government and regulatory partner Libby Baney spoke to Digital Health Business & Technology about a proposed rule the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released on remote prescribing of controlled substances.
Baney said by restricting usage of a provider’s ability to prescribe controlled substances remotely, the DEA is inviting people to acquire the drugs through their own methods. “I am predicting that Americans will go to the open, wild internet to [find] illegal drug sources for Adderall,” she stated.
Baney was surprised by the rule concerning buprenorphine and the requirement that those prescribed it need to see a provider in person after 30 days. She cited a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies that found expanding access to the opioid use treatment disorder drug via telehealth did not result in more overdoses. The evidence backs the drug’s effectiveness in reducing opioid use, she noted.
“That part of the rule will put lives at risk, if not result in unnecessary deaths of patients who cannot see a treatment provider for that form of care in that limited period of time before they continue their substance use disorder treatment,” Baney explained. “I suspect members of Congress and advocates, including practitioners [who engage in] substance use disorder treatment, will raise holy heck about that concern.”