Pew Urges DEA to Maintain Addiction Treatment via Telehealth
Proposed regulations would scale back pandemic-related flexibilities and limit access to lifesaving medication
The Pew Charitable Trusts sent comments to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on March 31 calling on the agency to ensure that health care providers can continue to use telehealth to prescribe the FDA-approved medication buprenorphine to patients seeking treatment for opioid use disorder.
Emergency rules put in place during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed providers to prescribe buprenorphine remotely, without requiring an in-person visit during the course of treatment. But the DEA recently issued draft regulations that would roll back this remote access—thus creating barriers to lifesaving treatment. Pew’s comments call on the agency not to enact these barriers, ensuring that patients can continue to receive care.