DEA extends telehealth prescribing flexibilities for controlled substances through end of 2024

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a new temporary rule that will extend the ability to prescribe controlled substances based on telehealth patient visits.

While this flexibility was set to end when the federal COVID-19 public health emergency expired in May, DEA had extended the same policies that had been in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency for an additional 6 months, until November 11, 2023. The latest temporary rule will extend this flexibility through the end of 2024.

DEA received more than 38,000 comments on its proposed telemedicine rules and is working to promulgate a final set of telemedicine regulations by the fall of 2024. According to DEA, the goal of this temporary rule is to ensure a smooth transition for physicians and patients who have come to rely on the availability of telemedicine for controlled medication prescriptions, and allow adequate time for providers to come into compliance with any new standards or safeguards that DEA promulgates in the final rules.