Telehealth companies lobby for permanent controlled substance prescribing flexibilities

More than 100 health startups and medical associations are lobbying for permanent permission to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth, a permission that has been temporarily granted due to the pandemic-era flexibilities, The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 25. 

To maintain pandemic-era telehealth practices, the 100 groups asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to create a registry of providers allowed to prescribe drugs online for conditions including opioid addiction. 

This move, if granted, would protect their businesses when the Biden administration ends the COVID-19 public-health emergency, which is set to extend into spring.

The push comes after some online health startups, including telehealth company Cerebral, faced scrutiny from lawmakers and pharmacies over their prescription practices. 

Cerebral, which is under DEA investigation for possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act, was accused of pressuring its clinicians to prescribe stimulants to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The White House said it wants opioid addiction patients to maintain online access to prescription anti-addiction medications, some of which are controlled substances. But representatives for the administration didn't say whether telehealth allowances should continue for all controlled substances.

Rob Patterson, former DEA acting administrator, said he is concerned about the potential for drug abuse via telehealth in the midst of the opioid crisis.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars