Tuesday, April 18, 2023

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tightens regulations on Schedule II controlled substances

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Article: EPC-USA works to prevent assisted suicide by telemedicine (Link).

This is a big victory for preventing assisted suicide by Telemedicine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began a consultation on February 24 on proposed rules for prescribing drugs via telehealth. The proposed rule stated that when a person has not seen a medical practitioner and requires a Schedule II medication or narcotic that the prescription could not be prescribed via telehealth and the patient would be required to see a medical practitioner in person before receiving the prescription.

The proposed rule was important for the assisted suicide issue. The assisted suicide lobby wants to approve a death by lethal drugs without directly meeting with or examining the person and then have the lethal drugs sent to the person by courier.

Kristen Senz reported for The Journalists Resource on April 17 that the DEA approved new guidelines will go into effect on May 1. Senz reported:
Patients being treated remotely with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, Ritalin for attention deficit disorders, ketamine for depression, or testosterone for gender-affirming care, among other controlled-drug treatments, will need to schedule an in-person exam, either with their telemedicine prescriber or a local provider who is registered with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the DEA’s proposed rules.

The draft regulations, which were first announced Feb. 24, allow telemedicine providers to initially prescribe 30 days’ worth of select medications, including buprenorphine, testosterone, or ketamine, before an in-person exam is required. Patients taking narcotic pain medication, or common ADD medicines, will need an in-person exam before any new prescriptions can be issued. Patients and providers who established treatment relationships remotely during the pandemic, when in-person exam requirements were temporarily waived, would have 180 days to comply with the new laws.
As the proposed DEA rules state, Schedule II controlled substances will require an in-person visit. Patients being treated for opioid use disorder can be prescribed via telemedicine but they will be required to have an in-person visit within 30 days of receiving a prescription for buprenorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Sublocade) via telemedicine, to obtain refills.

The new DEA rules are based on reducing the opioid crisis and make it more difficult for people to obtain Schedule II controlled substances for resale.

EPC-USA supports the DEA rules. We support tighter regulations for controlled substances in order to prevent opioid abuse, especially since some of these drugs can be used for lethal purposes.

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