Telehealth startup halts controlled substance prescriptions after allegations of overprescribing

Telehealth startup Cerebral is putting a pause on prescribing controlled substances to new patients as the company faces allegations of overprescribing, The Wall Street Journal reported May 4.

On May 4, Cerebral Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kyle Robertson announced in an email that the company would pause prescribing controlled substances such as Adderall to treat ADHD in new patients. The pause will go into effect on May 9. 

The announcement comes as telehealth startups like Cerebral began facing scrutiny from pharmacies across the country who have expressed concerns that these startups' clinicians are writing too many prescriptions for Adderall and other stimulants.

Cerebral's preferred pharmacy partner, ​​Truepill Inc., stopped filling prescriptions for stimulants when a former executive filed a lawsuit alleging the company put growth before patient safety. 

In May, former Cerebral employees told Bloomberg the company could be fueling a new addiction crisis because providers are pressured to prescribe medications after short video visits.   

Cerebral said prescription delays occurred because of confusion around telehealth policies, and that it doesn't pressure its clinicians to prescribe stimulants. 

The company also said the allegations in the employee lawsuit were false and that it would defend itself.

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