Ketamine, Internet Prescribing, and Telehealth– Say What?

The recent uptick in ketamine clinic and management service organization (“MSO”) clients at our law firm is pretty significant. It’s understandable given the groundswell of momentum behind state and local legalization and decriminalization of certain other psychedelics. Many companies that are exploring psychedelic medicines are making their way into the ketmaine space. Unlike psilocybin though (and definitely unlike cannabis), ketamine stands alone as a Schedule III controlled substance, and its use for the treatment of mental health disorders is “off-label”, all of which makes it hugely regulated by state and federal healthcare laws.

An interesting curveball related to the off-label treatment of patients with ketamine is the incorporation of telehealth. Telehealth is its own quasi-emerging beast in the healthcare legal world, though it’s been around for a while now. In any event, with the advent of COVID-19 and the institution of state and federal emergency orders, certain restrictions around the use of telehealth, generally, have been relaxed. More wildly, the online prescribing of controlled substances is also looser because of COVID federal emergency orders. In turn, physicians prescribing ketamine to patients are also now starting to use telehealth more and more to do so, which makes for an incredibly sticky

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