A: Yes, during the current state of emergency, controlled substances may be prescribed following a telemedicine consultation, provided certain conditions are met.
From NCMB’s perspective, if it is possible to gather sufficient clinical information during a telemedicine encounter to provide care that meets at least the minimum accepted standards of care, NCMB considers it appropriate to prescribe following that encounter. The Board recognizes that standards of care may shift during a state of emergency. Practitioners are encouraged to document deviations from typical standards of care and use their best clinical judgment.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulates controlled substances prescribing. During the declared federal state of emergency related to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, DEA will waive the requirement for an in-person medical evaluation for both established and non-established patients prior to prescribing controlled substances as long as the following are met:
1) The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice;
2) The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two- way interactive communication system; and
3) The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.
If the above conditions are not met, then prescribing a controlled substance is not permitted.