AACAP Statement Regarding DEA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Telemedicine Prescribing of Controlled Substances

February 27, 2023  – On February 24, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued proposed rules governing telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances when the practitioner and the patient have not had a prior in-person medical evaluation. These rules seek to extend telemedicine flexibilities beyond the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency by extending the PHE in-person exam waiver for 180 days after the PHE ends and by allowing for telemedicine prescriptions of controlled substances without an initial in-person exam under limited circumstances. Of note, these rules do not implement the long-awaited “special registration” exception to the practice of telemedicine in the Ryan Haight Act. Rather, these rules create flexibilities within a different “exception” category.

The PHE-related telemedicine flexibilities significantly improved access to mental health care during the COVID-19 crisis and continue to do so as the national children’s mental health crisis worsens. AACAP will offer comments on these proposed rules that will: promote children’s access to safe, effective psychotherapeutic medications prescribed by physician pediatric mental health specialists; assert AACAP members as physician prescribers uniquely qualified to prescribe psychotherapeutic medications while also minimizing patient risk for misuse or diversion; and protect child and adolescent psychiatrists from undue administrative burdens that may result from these rules.

For additional information regarding the proposed rules, please read AACAP’s summary. Links to additional resources and the full text of the proposed rules are included in the summary.


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org