The federal government will permit physicians to continue to use telemedicine to prescribe controlled medications for opioid addiction, anxiety and pain, The Washington Post reports.
The controlled medications include the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder pill Adderall, the painkiller oxycodone and the opioid use disorder medication buprenorphine.
The decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration extends for an additional six months emergency flexibilities established during the pandemic. The flexibilities were set to expire on Thursday, along with the coronavirus public health emergency.
The extension will allow doctors to prescribe controlled medications remotely through November 11, 2023. Doctors who have already established a telemedicine relationship with patients will be able to continue prescribing medications virtually for an additional year.
“The DEA received a record 38,000 comments on its proposed telemedicine rules. We take those comments seriously and are considering them carefully,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a news release. “We recognize the importance of telemedicine in providing Americans with access to needed medications, and we have decided to extend the current flexibilities for six months while we work to find a way forward to give Americans that access with appropriate safeguards.”