WASHINGTON, DC, AUGUST 4, 2023 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and ATA Action issued the following statement in response to a notice posted earlier today by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), indicating that the agency is openly considering a Special Registration process that would allow remote prescribing of medically necessary controlled substances without an in-person visit.

“The ATA and ATA Action have the highest praise for the Administration and the DEA for their responsiveness to the 38,000-plus public comments they received expressing concern over proposed regulations that would severely limit remote prescribing of medically necessary controlled substances,” said Kyle Zebley, senior vice president, public policy, the ATA, and executive director, ATA Action. “We welcome the news that they are openly considering a Special Registration process for the prescribing of controlled substances via telemedicine and stand ready to partner with the Administration and the DEA to ensure such a process would allow access to needed treatments while including appropriate safeguards and accountability mechanisms.”

In March, ATA Action submitted comprehensive suggestions for ways to improve the DEA’s proposed rules for the remote prescribing of controlled substances, to ensure patients do not lose access to necessary treatments.

“We are pleased to hear that the DEA is also considering plans to hold public listening sessions next month and will do everything possible to fully represent the voices of the telehealth community, including healthcare providers and their patients benefitting from the current waiver. ATA Action will continue to make sure our message is loud and clear, to ensure patients who cannot or will not seek treatment in-person do not fall through the cracks,” Zebley added.

About ATA Action

ATA Action recognizes that telehealth and virtual care have the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system by improving patient outcomes, enhancing the safety and effectiveness of care, addressing health disparities, and reducing costs. ATA Action is a registered 501c6 company and an affiliated trade organization of the ATA.

 About the ATA

As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of leading healthcare delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.

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