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May 10, 2023

DEA Extends Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescribing Controlled Medications

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.

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