Sen. Warner pushes for release of long-delayed telehealth guidance to expand access to medical treatment


(File photo)

WASHINGTON (WFXR) — On Monday, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) urged the Biden administration to finalize regulations that have been long-delayed allowing doctors to prescribe controlled substances through telehealth.

“I am very concerned that – despite repeated outreach from myself and others in Congress – the previous Administration did not take long-term action to address this issue. I also recognize that much of this delay has been the result of previous Administrations and I hope to work with you all on a new approach that best serves patients.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administer Chris Evans

In January 2020, Warner similarly urged the Trump administration to finalize the long-awaited rules to expand the use of telehealth services but never received a response.

While the Ryan Haight Act of 2008 prohibited the delivery, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance by means of the internet, the law also required the DEA to establish rules allowing certain providers to prescribe and treat their patients without an in-person visit.

Despite that requirement, and the passage of several subsequent bipartisan laws reiterating that directive, more than ten years later, the DEA has still not finalized the regulations allowing for prescriptions to be issued following a telehealth appointment.

A full copy of the letter written by Warner to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Chris Evens, the acting administrator of the DEA.

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