DEA, SAMHSA Extend COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescribing Controlled Medications for Six Months While Considering Comments from the Public

May 9, 2023  – On May 9, 2023, ahead of the expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued the “Temporary Extension of COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications” —a temporary rule that extends telemedicine flexibilities adopted during the COVID-19 PHE.

Taking effect on May 11, 2023, the temporary rule extends the full set of telemedicine flexibilities adopted during the COVID-19 PHE for six months—through November 11, 2023. For any practitioner-patient telemedicine relationships that have been or will be established up to November 11, 2023, the full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding prescription of controlled medications established during the COVID-19 PHE will be extended for one-year—through November 11, 2024.

DEA and SAMHSA received more than 38,000 comment letters in response to the proposed rule on telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances post-PHE, including comments from AACAP. The agencies will continue to fully consider public comments before issuing a permanent rule.

Full text of the temporary rule (PDF).


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