Cerebral will stop prescribing most controlled substances to new and existing patients, the embattled digital mental health company confirmed to insider.
According to an email sent to staff Monday, Cerebral CEO Kyle Robertson said the company will stop prescribing controlled substances like Adderall and Xanax for new patients beginning May 20 and for existing patients May 15. will discontinue October.
“This decision was led by our clinical and regulatory teams, and we will provide more details later this week on how we will do so safely and in the best interests of our patients and clinicians,” Cerebral said in a statement insider.
The company will continue to prescribe drugs to treat opioid use disorders, as it said these treatment options can be difficult to access insiderreported. Cerebral announced it opioid treatment program in March.
Earlier this month Cerebral suspended prescriptions of controlled substances for new patients and introduced new safety and quality initiatives, such as more assessment opportunities, hiring more psychiatrists and mental health nurses, and establishing a review board to review its paid social advertising.
WHY IT MATTERS
Cerebral has faced increasing scrutiny of its prescribing practices in recent months. The company is is under investigation by the US Department of Justice for possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act. insider has also reported that the US Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the mental health startup.
A former Cerebral executive, Matthew Truebe, did it sued the company, claiming he was fired after raising concerns about unethical prescribing practices and patient safety issues.
A Bloomberg BusinessWeek The March investigation included interviews with Cerebral employees who said they were pressured into prescribing at the expense of patient care.
THE BIGGER TREND
According to the email viewed by insider, Cerebral is taking the step to stop prescribing as patients can now return to hybrid or in-person care. The company began prescribing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the DEA suspended regulations required personal evaluations for controlled substance prescriptions.
The company has defended its prescribing practices in the past. At the American Telemedicine Association Association Annual Conference and Expo Earlier this month, Dr. David Mou, Cerebral’s chief medical officer, has stuck to their quality standards, but acknowledged that mistakes had been made in areas such as marketing and social media campaigns aimed at young consumers.