Over 80 organizations call on DEA to enable telemedicine for controlled substances
The Alliance for Connected Care, a US-based organisation that convenes more than 80 organisations in the healthcare sector, called on the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to finalise the special registration for telemedicine of controlled substances. The Ryan Haight Act of 2008 originally called for special registration to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine. The Ryan Haight Act amended the Controlled Substances Act that prohibited the delivery, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance by ‘means of the Internet’ without first undertaking an in-person exam. Since the Act directed the DEA to create a special registration for telemedicine to increase a patient’s access to practitioners who can prescribe regulated substances via telehealth in limited circumstances in 2009, the agency has not finalised a separate rule regarding the special registration for telemedicine to this day. With the anticipated registration, for instance, a patient, in the event of an opioid overdose, might need a prescription for an opioid antagonist such as naloxone from a provider who has never seen the patient in person prior to telemedicine consultation.