Telehealth app used unsafe prescribing practices to keep patients, lawsuit says

A former executive at Cerebral claims he was fired in part for raising concerns about prescribing practices at the telepsychiatry company, The Wall Street Journal reported April 29. 

Matthew Truebe, former vice president of product and engineering at Cerebral, filed the lawsuit April 27. The suit alleges Cerebral CEO Kyle Robertson asked employees to track the relationship between stimulant prescriptions for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and patient retention.

"When Cerebral determined that patients who were prescribed stimulants were more likely to remain Cerebral customers, the CEO directed Cerebral employees find ways to prescribe stimulants to more ADHD patients to increase retention," the lawsuit reads. 

The lawsuit comes a month after the Journal reported that some Cerebral clinicians said they felt pressure to prescribe stimulants, such as Adderall, to patients after a 30-minute evaluation, which they said was not enough time to properly diagnose ADHD.

In the suit, Mr. Truebe claims the company's prescribing practices "consistently and at times egregiously put profits and growth before patient safety."

Cerebral has denied the suit's claims.

"We plan to vigorously defend ourselves against these false and unfounded allegations," the company said in a statement to the Journal.

Learn more here.

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