February 24, 2023 the Drug Enforcement Administration announced proposed permanent rules for the prescribing of controlled medications via telemedicine, expanding patient access to critical therapies beyond the scheduled end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The public will be able to comment for 30 days on the proposed rules.
The proposed rules – developed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – propose to extend many of the flexibilities adopted during the public health emergency with appropriate safeguards.
But now, doctors will have to take substance use disorder training to get their DEA license. The Biden administration’s recent spending bill contained under-the-radar changes for addiction medicine, including eliminating the X waiver requirement for clinicians who treat opioid use disorder with medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Hard thresholds for pain medication doses and duration are no longer promoted through the CDC’s new Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain. The new guidance — which covers acute, subacute, and chronic pain for primary care and other clinicians — updates and replaces the controversial 2016 CDC opioid guideline for chronic pain.