Second temporary extension of COVID-19 telemedicine flexibilities for prescription of controlled medications

Oct. 10, 2023
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services issued a second extension of controlled substances via telehealth

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. On May 10, 2023, following initial review of the comments received, DEA, jointly with HHS, issued a temporary rule (First Temporary Rule) extending certain exceptions granted to existing DEA regulations in March 2020 as a result of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE). These exceptions were granted in order to avoid lapses in care for patients. In particular, with respect to practitioner-patient relationships formed after the May 11, 2023, expiration of the COVID–19 PHE, the First Temporary Rule extended the temporary exceptions until November 11, 2023. In this second temporary rule, as DEA and HHS continue to consider revisions to the proposed rules set forth in the March 1, 2023 NPRMs and in light of Telemedicine Listening Sessions that DEA hosted on September 12 and 13, 2023, DEA and HHS are further extending such exceptions to existing DEA regulations for new practitioner-patient relationships through December 31, 2024.

DATES:

As of November 11, 2023, the end of the effective period for the temporary rule published at 88 FR 30037 on May 10, 2023, is extended from November 11, 2024, to December 31, 2024. This rule is effective November 11, 2023.

The Federal Register has the published document.

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