DEA moves to extend COVID telehealth rules temporarily

It is worth noting that telehealth has been on the rise ever since the pandemic came into existence three years ago. While most of the bad effects of the pandemic have passed hopefully, it is worth noting that a new variant has come into existence which will extend the pandemic even further before it is noted as an endemic. Talking about the pandemic and its effect on telehealth, it has massively grown the telehealth industry which was struggling to find its place before that. It is quite possible that many startups would have had to shut their offices if the pandemic did not spur growth into the industry.

However, telehealth has brought certain problems with it as well such as the rise of prescriptions for drug disorder medication as well as weight-loss pills which are used for diabetes as well. This has forced the US Biden Administration to recommend the DEA, drug enforcement administration, to draft rules for stricter telehealth prescriptions and require a doctor visit to prescribe certain restricted drugs such as Adderall among others.

Now, a new report from Axios suggests that the DEA has asked the White House to extend the current telehealth rules for a certain amount of time as they need more time to draft the new telehealth rules that will come into effect. A statement from DEA’s administrator Anne reads, keeping the current pandemic-era flexibilities in place will make sure that Americans get access to needed medication “while we work to find a way forward to give Americans that access with appropriate safeguards.”

At the moment, there is no indication as to how much the extension will last for as it is not known how much the DEA has asked to draft the new rules and it is now up to the White House to extend these rules for whatever time they want, as per DEA’s request. Right now, the DEA had proposed new telehealth rules which include a patient being unable to receive prescriptions of some controlled substances via telehealth after a six-month grace period as well as requiring a patient to visit the clinic at least once after the grace period.


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