President Joe Biden’s administration is proposing implementing greater restrictions that would make it harder for Americans to get certain medications.
The proposal from the DEA would make it harder for Americans to get Adderall and opioid pain killers if the patient is trying to get on those medications through the use of telehealth services, which significantly expanded during the pandemic leading to shortages of some medications.
The explosion in new prescriptions being given to patients led to the DEA’s crackdown on using telehealth services to obtain drugs for the first-time like Adderall.
Under the proposed rules, doctors can “remotely prescribe a 30-day supply of some drugs, including buprenorphine—used to treat opioid-use disorder—as well as ketamine and testosterone,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Further prescriptions would require at least one in-person visit. Other drugs, including Adderall, Ritalin and OxyContin, would require patients to meet in-person with prescribers first or be referred from a doctor they met in person.”
According to the DEA, the new rules do not affect:
- Telemedicine consultations that do not involve the prescribing of controlled medications.
- Telemedicine consultations by a medical practitioner that has previously conducted an in-person medical examination of a patient.
- Telemedicine consultations and prescriptions by a medical practitioner to whom a patient has been referred, as long as the referring medical practitioner has previously conducted an in-person medical examination of the patient.
“DEA is committed to ensuring that all Americans can access needed medications,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “The permanent expansion of telemedicine flexibilities would continue greater access to care for patients across the country, while ensuring the safety of patients. DEA is committed to the expansion of telemedicine with guardrails that prevent the online overprescribing of controlled medications that can cause harm.”