Cerebral will stop prescribing most controlled substances to new and existing patients, struggling digital mental health company confirmed at Initiated.
According to an email sent to staff on Monday, Cerebral CEO Kyle Robertson said the company would stop prescriptions for controlled substances like Adderall and Xanax for new patients starting May 20 and for existing patients starting May 20. October 15.
“This decision was made by our clinical and regulatory teams, and we will release more details on how we will do so safely and in the best interests of our patients and clinicians later this week,” Cerebral said in a statement to Initiated.
The company will continue to prescribe drugs to treat opioid use disorder because these treatment options can be difficult to access, according to Initiatedreport. Cerebral announced its opioid treatment program in March.
Earlier this month, Cerebral suspended controlled substance prescriptions for new patients and introduced new safety and quality initiatives, such as more assessment capabilities, hiring more psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, and creating a review board to review its paid social advertising.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
Cerebral has come under 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. Initiated also reported that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration was looking into mental health startup.
A former Cerebral executive, Matthew Truebe, has sued the company, alleging he was fired after raising concerns about unethical prescribing practices and patient safety issues.
A Bloomberg Businessweek The March survey included interviews with Cerebral employees who said they were pressured into prescribing at the expense of patient care.
THE GREAT TREND
According to the email seen by Initiated, Cerebral makes the decision to stop prescriptions as patients can now return to hybrid or in-person care. The company began prescriptions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as the DEA suspended rules that in-person assessments required for prescriptions for controlled substances.
The company has defended its prescribing practices in the past. At the American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference and Exposition earlier this month, Cerebral’s chief medical officer, Dr David Mou, met its quality standards, but admitted mistakes had been made in areas such as marketing and social media campaigns targeting young consumers.