CVS will no longer fill prescriptions from telehealth companies Cerebral and Done Health for controlled substances. The pharmacy chain said it had unresolved issues with both companies after an assessment. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.
“We’re committed to making mental health services as accessible and convenient as possible. At the same time, it’s important that medications are prescribed correctly,” Mike DeAngelis, CVS Health’s executive director of corporate communications, told Engadget.
“We recently conducted an assessment of certain telehealth companies that prescribe controlled substance drugs. As a result of our inability to resolve the concerns we have with Cerebral and Done Health, as of May 26, 2022, CVS Pharmacy no longer accepts regulations for controlled substances issued through these companies.”
The startups have tens of thousands of patients together, the Journal notes. They have prescribed stimulants like Adderall for patients with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). These stimulants are regulated and classified as Schedule 2 controlled substances because of the risk of abuse.
Some other pharmacies, such as Walmart and Truepill, have previously delayed or denied the prescriptions of the two startups. They were reportedly concerned that Cerebral and Done clinicians were writing too many stimulant prescriptions.
It was recently revealed that Cerebral is under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration. In response to that news, the company has put prescriptions for ADHD drugs for new patients on hold. Cerebral said last week it would stop prescribing most controlled substances for all patients by October. Just two days after that, the board replaced CEO Kyle Robertson.
Along with ADHD, Cerebral says it treats depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and serious mental illness through therapy, counseling, and, in some cases, prescriptions. Done focuses on the treatment of ADHD.
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians were not allowed to prescribe stimulants without personally visiting patients. Those federal rules were relaxed in March 2020 for Schedule 2 substances, allowing Cerebral and Done to start offering prescriptions after virtual consultation.
Engadget has contacted Cerebral and Done for comment.
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