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Telehealth startup Cerebral halts controlled substance prescriptions

Telehealth startup Cerebral halts controlled substance prescriptions


Cerebral is under investigation by the DOJ and DEA

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The Cerebral app.
The Cerebral app.
Image: Cerebral

Mental health startup Cerebral will no longer prescribe most controlled substances, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The embattled company is facing investigations from the US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration over its prescribing practices, which, until this week, included offering prescriptions for stimulants like Adderall.

Company co-founder Kyle Robertson wrote in an email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that it would stop prescribing most controlled substances to new customers on Friday and transition existing patients off of the drug or out of its care by October. Cerebral will still offer drugs that treat opioid-use disorder, like Suboxone.

Robertson said in the email that the company only started prescribing controlled substances to customers in 2020 because people weren’t able to get in-person care. It’s stopping that program, he said, because of “the ability for patients to return to an in-person or hybrid care model for this treatment.”

But many pharmacies had already stopped filling prescriptions from Cerebral for Adderall and other controlled substances. Before then, nurse practitioners working for the company had told The Wall Street Journal that they worried about pressures to give customers the drugs after only a short call.

Cerebral said in a statement to Insider that it is fully cooperating with all federal investigations and that it has not been accused of violating any laws.