Pharmacy News

Ms Michelle Cathers
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DEA extends telehealth authorities for controlled substances through 2024

DEA will continue to allow providers to use telemedicine to prescribe certain controlled substances through the end of 2024.

DEA said the temporary authorization is designed “to ensure a smooth transition for patients and practitioners that have come to rely on the availability of telemedicine for controlled medication prescriptions, as well as allowing adequate time for providers to come into compliance with any new standards or safeguards.”

Controlled substances covered by the rule, which DEA released during the COVID-19 public health emergency, include stimulant medications for ADHD, anxiety, and OUD.

In May 2023, just before the expiration of the public health emergency, DEA said it would temporarily extend the telehealth flexibilities through November 11, 2023.

In September 2023, DEA hosted a listening session to hear from health care practitioners, experts, advocates, and patients who called on the agency to extend the more lenient rules and create a special registration pathway for remote prescribing. APhA took part in the listening session. DEA said it hopes to draft new regulations by fall 2024.

The agency also announced a forthcoming proposed rule on telehealth prescribing of controlled substances, including buprenorphine, that will be released before the temporary rule expires on November 11, 2024.

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