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November 03, 2023

DEA Extends COVID-19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Controlled Substance Prescriptions: Second Temporary Rule

On October 10, 2023, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) issued a temporary rule  further extending COVID-19 telemedicine flexibilities that allow healthcare providers to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth platforms. This was the second extension of these flexibilities after the DEA’s initial temporary rule on May 10, 2023. The latest temporary rule notes that the extension is in response to the ongoing need for telehealth services, ensuring patients have access to vital medications while minimizing in-person contact. This extension grants permission to all DEA-registered practitioners to prescribe schedule II–V controlled substances through telemedicine until December 31, 2024, irrespective of whether the patient-practitioner telemedicine relationship was established prior to November 11, 2023, when the first extension expires. It is anticipated that the DEA will assess the possibility of permanent rulemaking before December 31, 2024.

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