DEA Extends Telehealth Flexibilities for Six Months


The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has extended “the COVID-19 telemedicine prescribing flexibilities for six months, from May 12, 2023 through November 11, 2023.” The following requirements must be met for the flexibilities to continue:

  1. The prescription must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice.
  2. The prescription must be issued pursuant to a communication between a practitioner and a patient using an interactive telecommunications system…[e.g.,] audio and video equipment permitting two-way, real-time, interactive communication.
  3. The practitioner must be authorized under their registration…to prescribe the basic class of controlled medications specified on the prescription or exempt from obtaining a registration to dispense controlled medications.
  4. The prescription must be consistent with all other [prescribing] requirements.

On March 1, 2023, a proposed rule was published in the Federal Register focused on telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances when the practitioner and the patient have not had a prior in-person medical evaluation. This proposed rule applies only in limited circumstances when the prescribing practitioner wishes to prescribe controlled medications via the practice of telemedicine and has not otherwise conducted an in-person medical evaluation prior to the issuance of the prescription. NHPCO submitted comments and will provide additional updates as they are finalized.