DEA announces extension for telemedicine prescribing of certain drugs

DEA has said that for now it is extending emergency telehealth policies set during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling certain health care providers to have greater leeway in prescribing some controlled substances.

The DEA decision affects buprenorphine for opioid addiction and stimulants such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall—Teva Pharmaceutics) used to treat ADHD.

“We recognize the importance of telemedicine in providing Americans with access to needed medications, and we have decided to extend the current flexibilities while we work to find a way forward to give Americans that access with appropriate safeguards,” said DEA administrator Anne Milgram.

Because of DEA’s extension of the policies, health care providers may write buprenorphine prescriptions to patients after evaluating them via phone or video. DEA also introduced new policies for buprenorphine that would require patients to visit their prescriber for an in-person exam within 30 days, and patients who began buprenorphine treatment under emergency rules would have a 180-day grace period before they would need to visit their provider in-person.

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