DEA proposes new telehealth rules for prescribing controlled substances

The Drug Enforcement Agency has proposed new rules for prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency expires. 

The new rules are intended to bridge the gap between the DEA's current PHE waivers and a post-PHE telehealth environment, according to a Feb. 24 release from the DEA. 

Four things to know:

  1. The new rules would provide safeguards for telemedicine consultations conducted by a medical practitioner that has never met with a patient in-person and controlled substance prescribing via telemedicine. 

  2. The new rules would allow practitioners to prescribe a 30-day supply of Schedule III-V non-narcotic controlled medications via telemedicine. 

  3. The new rules would also allow practitioners to prescribe a 30-day supply of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder via telemedicine.
  4. These new rules would allow clinicians to prescribe these substances without an in-person evaluation or referral from a medical practitioner, as long as the prescription is consistent with federal and state laws. 

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