President Donald Trump declares the opioid crisis a national public health emergency during an event in the East Room of the White House on Oct. 26. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled his intention to break a logjam preventing doctors from treating opioid addiction through long-distance consults, a vital way to reach the hundreds of thousands of addicts living in rural and hard-to reach parts of the United States.
But the announcement caught the government agencies charged with making the changes off guard, and members of the industry that provides technology for the consults said more government action was needed to enable them.
The first item in Trump’s public health emergency declaration was to use telemedicine — video and phone-enabled communications with doctors, pharmacists and nurses — to remotely prescribe drugs for