Huge news for our community! The DEA has again extended the temporary flexibilities allowing the prescription of controlled substances, such as testosterone, via telehealth, this time all the way until December 31, 2024. This means that anyone can access testosterone therapy via telehealth, without the need for an in-person visit, until at least the end of next year.
We worked for many months with our partners to ensure our community could continue to access this lifesaving, medically necessary care via telehealth, as we've been doing safely for years now. And so many of you shared your stories of how important it has been to get testosterone prescribed via telehealth with the DEA. In a world where the healthcare landscape is continuously shifting, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has emerged as an indispensable tool for so many. Recognizing this, the DEA extended the temporary flexibilities allowing the prescription of controlled substances, such as testosterone, without an in-person medical evaluation, in order to continue to listen to all that was shared about this care. This extension will ensure our trans community can continue with uninterrupted access to testosterone therapy via FOLX or other telehealth providers, without needing an in-person visit.
In their recent announcement, the DEA has opted to extend the COVID-19 era or "public health emergency" (PHE) telemedicine flexibilities from November 11, 2024, to December 31, 2024. This decision is not merely a nod to healthcare providers but a significant recognition of telehealth's essential role in serving diverse communities across the nation, including the trans community.
Implications for the Trans Community
- Uninterrupted access: Telehealth services for testosterone prescriptions can continue, removing the need for in-person visits until at least the end of 2024.
- Safe and affirming care: Especially relevant for those who are immunocompromised or wish to reduce exposure, or people who do not have safe and affirming local providers, this extension allows patients to prioritize safety without compromising on medical care.
- Convenience and continuity: Telehealth provides treatment continuity no matter the patient's location, whether at home, traveling, or relocating.
- Time to continue our advocacy work: This extension gives us additional time to work with our partners, and with you all, to continue our advocacy work to ensure our community can continue to access this care via telehealth in the long term.
The Future of Telehealth
This extension speaks to the growing understanding of the importance of telemedicine in our healthcare system. It also acknowledges the importance telehealth has in making medical care more accessible and accommodating for everyone.
The stories, feedback, and resilience of the trans community have made a huge impact on decision makers, so thank you all again. As telehealth continues to evolve, we will continue to work for a more inclusive and accessible healthcare future, ensuring everyone receives the care they deserve without barriers.