Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
Telemedicine 2

Remote prescribing of controlled medications OK through 2024

October 11, 2023

Clinicians can prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine through Dec. 31, 2024, without requiring an in-person patient evaluation.

To avoid lapses in care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) granted flexibility for telemedicine prescribing.

The agency originally extended the option through Nov. 11, 2023, with a one-year grace period, but yesterday announced a second temporary rule allowing remote prescribing through the end of next year.

The regulations apply to new and existing patients.

After holding listening sessions and allowing public comment about the issue, the DEA, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, received more than 38,000 comments, most of them in favor of extending the flexibility, according to an earlier communication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The AAP sent a letter in March strongly supporting the extension of telemedicine flexibilities. It noted the importance for the care of children and youths — especially those with special health care needs — and included additional recommendations.

Now, authorized practitioners can prescribe schedule II-V controlled medications through audio-video telemedicine encounters, including FDA-approved schedule III-V narcotic controlled medications for maintenance and withdrawal management treatment of opioid-use disorder via audio-only telemedicine visits.

“The purpose … is to ensure a smooth transition for patients and practitioners that have come to rely on the availability of telemedicine for controlled medication prescriptions, as well as allowing adequate time for providers to come into compliance with any new standards or safeguards,” the DEA wrote.

New standards or safeguards for prescribing controlled substances are expected to be released by fall 2024.

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal