By Amy Bonds
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) is wanting to no longer allow controlled substances to be prescribed via telehealth. This move would affect so many different groups including individuals with disabilities, trans individuals who receive hormones, individuals in rural communities or without consistent transportation. In the wake of Covid, telehealth became much more popular and mainstream in the hopes of limiting the spread of infection. As the Biden administration has decided that we are no longer in a state of emergency, there are going to be more and more restrictions added back in. These restrictions make people’s access to healthcare much more difficult.
Until March 31, 2023, this bill is available for public comment. Why should you write a public comment? Public comment is a way in which you can make your voice heard and advocate for people who need access to telehealth for controlled substances. When you make a public comment, it becomes part of the public record and is a way to work within the confines of the system. Our government is a bureaucracy, full of rules and regulations which often can cause harm or make it challenging to connect to the services individuals need. Writing a public comment is a way of utilizing the mechanism that the government acknowledges for activism and to express dissent.
Guidance for writing a comment:
- Explain how this change would affect you, loved ones or community
- Discuss the importance of telehealth for different marginalized groups
- Trans Equity recommends asking for “special exemption for testosterone and androgen treatment for gender dysphoria and gender incongruence. In addition, asking for them to remove testosterone from the list of controlled substances”.