It may soon be harder to get a prescription through telehealth

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — During the pandemic, the federal government relaxed requirements for drug prescriptions through telehealth.

A new federal rule would require patients to see a doctor before getting prescriptions for some drugs, like Adderall and Ritalin. 

“Individuals who are seeing their physicians through telehealth for the more addictive medications would have to see their physicians at least face to face one time a year for that initial diagnosis and prescription,” said Dr. Dave Miers, senior director of behavioral health at Bryan Health. 

This federal decision comes after a study found that the pandemic increased opioid use disorder.

U.S. overdose deaths hit a record in 2021. About three-quarters of the deaths were from opioids. 

Miers said there are pros and cons that come with the rule. 

“It can be a positive thing for individuals who might be abusing the system,” Miers said. 

But he also said it can have negative impacts. 

“This is kind of putting a barrier in place for some of those families, and it’s going to make it difficult for some of those (single-parent) families or those rural families,” Miers said.

He said telehealth is a necessary tool, especially for mental and behavioral health.  

The federal government plans to have the new rule in place before the COVID-19 public health emergency expires on May 11.

Categories: Health, News, Top Stories, US & World