Temporary Extension of COVID–19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications. Temporary Rule.

SUMMARY: On March 1, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in concert with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), promulgated two notices of proposed rulemakings (NPRMs) soliciting comments on proposals to allow for prescribing of controlled medications pursuant to the practice of telemedicine in instances where the prescribing practitioner has never conducted an in-person medical evaluation of the patient. Those NPRMs resulted in 38,369 public comments, which are being closely reviewed. DEA, in concert with HHS, is considering revisions to the proposed rules set forth in the NPRMs [21 CFR Part 1307 and 42 CFR Part 12, respectively]. In the meantime, and following initial review of the comments received, DEA, jointly with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is issuing this temporary rule to extend certain exceptions granted to existing DEA regulations in March 2020 as a result of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE), in order to avoid lapses in care for patients. Ultimately, there will be a final set of regulations permitting the practice of telemedicine under circumstances that are consistent with public health, safety, and effective controls against diversion. DATES: This rule is effective May 11, 2023, through November 11, 2024.

Federal Register, May 10, 2023, pp.30037-30043, at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-05-10/pdf/2023-09936.pdf

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