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  • Washington Highlights

    DEA and HHS Temporarily Extend Telemedicine Prescribing of Controlled Substances


    Ki Stewart, Senior Policy and Regulatory Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) jointly with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a temporary extension (PDF) on Oct. 10 of COVID-19 telemedicine flexibilities for prescribing controlled substances through Dec. 31, 2024.  

    This temporary extension was issued in response to the over 38,000 comments, including those from the AAMC, the DEA received on the proposed rules, Telemedicine for Prescribing Controlled Substance Proposed Rule and Telemedicine for Prescribing Buprenorphine Proposed Rule [refer to Washington Highlights, May 5]and presentations by invested parties at the Telemedicine Listening Sessions [refer to Washington Highlights, Aug. 18]. The purpose of the extension is to enable patients to continue accessing care while the DEA and HHS deliberate the appropriate path forward. According to the text of the second temporary extension, the agencies “anticipate implementing a final set of regulations providing access to the practice of telemedicine when consistent with public health and safety, and that also effectively mitigate the risk of possible diversion.”