In an article for The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, government and regulatory affairs partner Libby Baney and Faegre Drinker Consulting manager Jillian Brady and director Sarah-Lloyd Stevenson discuss the outlook for policies related to telehealth providers remotely prescribing controlled substances (CS) based on loosened Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rules.
The authors describe how policymakers have started to explore what provisional laws and regulations related to telehealth services could be made permanent. They also share the history and purpose of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act and how the DEA rolled back select provisions for the duration of the pandemic.
Providers can now issue a prescription for a CS without first conducting an in-person examination if three conditions are met, the authors explain. They note that the DEA could use their existing Ryan Haight Act authority to create a special registration program for telehealth providers.
In conclusion, the authors emphasize the importance of patients’ access to care and certain controlled services virtually.