When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early 2020, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced a series of exemptions to make it simpler for healthcare experts to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth consultations. The adjustments exempted providers from essential provisions of the Ryan Haight On the net Pharmacy Customer Protection Act, a 2008 law created to protect against providers from writing prescriptions without having meaningful patient critiques. These exemptions had been place in spot when the government’s official public well being emergency ended on Could 11.
But just prior to that deadline, the DEA announced a short-term extension of the pandemic waiver. The agency mentioned it will let the existing exemptions to the Ryan Haight Act to continue for a different six months, till Nov. 11. The agency also announced an more 1-year grace period for situations exactly where the provider-patient connection was initiated prior to November. 11 deadline. This suggests that individuals who acquire prescriptions for controlled substances primarily based on telemedicine visits can continue to acquire these prescriptions without having an in-particular person go to to their physician till November 11, 2024, supplied the physician-patient connection started prior to November 11.
A single of the factors for the delay is the overwhelming quantity of public comment on the topic. The DEA mentioned it received 38,369 public comments on its proposed guidelines. The agency mentioned it required time to “very carefully critique” these submissions.
Kyle Zelby, executive director of ATA Action, the lobbying arm of the American Telemedicine Association.
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) welcomed the extension, calling it a “respite” for telehealth and an chance for the agency to critique the proposed permanent guidelines, which the association believes would be also restrictive.
“We hope that for the duration of this extended period the DEA will revise the draft rule to address unnecessarily restrictive barriers to fair and proper clinical care, such as mandating in-particular person visits,” mentioned Kyle Zebley, executive director of the lobbying group ATA. , ATA action.
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