Governor extends waiver for chronic pain patients

April 9, 2020 Wayne Wenske

Updated September 4, 2020

April 9, 2020

In March, the Texas Medical Board announced that certain state requirements for chronic pain patients had been temporarily suspended by Governor Greg Abbott. The suspension — taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis — has been extended until November 1, 2020.

"The extended waiver continues to allow for telephone refill(s) of a valid prescription for treatment of chronic pain by a physician with an established chronic pain patient. The physician(s) remains responsible for meeting the standard of care and all other laws and rules related to the practice of medicine. The standard of care must still be maintained related to the treatment of chronic pain patients."

This temporary suspension of Title 22, Chapter 174.5(e)(2)(A) of the Texas Administrative Code ("Limitation on Treatment of Chronic Pain") is intended to help chronic pain patients maintain continuity of care and avoid adverse consequences from abruptly running out of their pain medication.

According to the TMB's announcement, "This waiver follows the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announcement that health care professionals can prescribe controlled substances, including opioids, via telemedicine during the current coronavirus public health emergency."

Read the April 9 press release
Read the March 19 press release.

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About the Author

Wayne Wenske is Senior Marketing Coordinator at Texas Medical Liability Trust. He can be reached at

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