On May 9th, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) extended the telemedicine flexibilities that allowed the remote prescribing of controlled substances during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) to continue six months past the end of the PHE (May 11, 2023 through November 11, 2023). The official temporary rule is available online.
The DEA issued two proposed rules on March 1, 2023 that would establish restrictions on telehealth prescribing of controlled substances (CS) when the practitioner and the patient have not had a prior in-person medical evaluation and on the initiation of buprenorphine treatment via telemedicine, including audio-only encounters. After overwhelming stakeholder opposition, noted in the more than 38,000 comments received, DEA and SAMHSA decided to extend the PHE flexibilities for another six months. Faegre Drinker's cross-practice pharmacy team has summarized the proposed rules and outlined their industry-wide impacts in the publications below.
- 15 Years in the Making: New DEA Proposed Rules on Remote Prescribing of Controlled Substances | Elliot Vice and Nisha Quasba summarize the proposed rule and explain how it creates two new requirements relevant to the pharmacy community: a “telemedicine prescription" notation and a requirement that the prescriber check the prescription drug monitoring program system prior to issuing a prescription for a CS.
- DEA's Proposed Rules on Controlled Substances Prescribing via Telemedicine and Their Uncertain Impact on the Pharmacy Community | Jonathan Keller, Megan Herber and Larissa Morgan provide an overview of the requirements under the proposed rules, how these rules would impact pharmacy stakeholders, and what the public — specifically, the pharmacy industry — is saying about the proposed rules.