On February 24, 2023, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced proposed rules for prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires. Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Nathaniel Lacktman discussed these rules and with multiple media outlets, saying that they are both “complex and more restrictive” than regulations for remote prescribing over the last three years.
Lacktman is quoted in Modern Healthcare, STAT News, Behavioral Health Business (here and here), Digital Health Business & Technology, Fierce Healthcare, Healthcare Finance, and HealthLeaders.
He noted, “the DEA’s proposal is not what most industry stakeholders were anticipating” and “the initial reaction is the rules are more restrictive than necessary and impose concerning limitations and burdens on clinicians and the patients they treat.” The proposed rule creates complex requirements and administrative burdens on prescribers and pharmacies filling the orders. Lacktman predicts that “special labeling will lead to widespread industry confusion and will act as a ‘dog whistle’ that will lead providers to pull back on telehealth use” and “many pharmacies will start denying all orders from telemedicine prescribers to avoid the problem.”
Lacktman also published a comprehensive legal guide for practitioners, policymakers, and telemedicine companies titled, “DEA’s Proposed Rules on Telemedicine Controlled Substances Prescribing after the PHE Ends,” on Foley’s Health Care Law Today blog. An abbreviated version of this article is also available on Law360 (subscription required).