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DEA Issues Second Temporary Extension for Telemedicine Flexibility

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a second temporary extension of flexible policies granted during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for prescribing controlled medications via telehealth.

In February, the DEA and HHS proposed two rules that would limit the COVID-19 PHE–related flexibility allowing prescription of controlled substances via telemedicine without a prior in-person visit. After receiving 38,000 comments on the proposed telemedicine rules, the agencies decided to extend the flexibility while reviewing comments and developing a permanent rule. The first extension in May extended the COVID-19 telemedicine flexibility through Nov. 11.

In light of Telemedicine Listening Sessions the DEA hosted on Sept. 12 and 13, the agencies extended the flexibility a second time. This extension authorizes all DEA-registered practitioners to prescribe schedule II–V controlled medications via telemedicine through Dec. 31, 2024. The agencies stated that they are working to promulgate a final set of telemedicine regulations by fall 2024.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Faridat Animashaun is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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