Update 5/26/22: Walmart said it is is also no longer filling prescriptions from Cerebral and Done Health.
CVS Health confirmed that it’s no longer taking medication for controlled substances for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from Cerebral and Done, two mental telehealth companies.
We recently conducted a review of certain telehealth companies that prescribe controlled substance medications. As a result of our being unable to resolve concerns we have with Cerebral and Done Health, effective May 26, 2022 CVS Pharmacy will no longer accept prescriptions for controlled substances issued through these companies,” a company spokesperson said in an email to Digital Health Business & Technology.
A spokesperson for Cerebral said the “timing was unfortunate.” He said the company stopped new prescriptions for controlled substances on May 20 and has put into place plans to gradually transition patients away from controlled substances by mid-October. The company said it has reached out to every patient affected by this development to help with their transition to another source of prescribed medications.
The story was first reported in The Wall Street Journal. Representatives from Done Health have not responded to an inquiry for comment.
In a previous interview, Cerebral CEO Dr. David Mou said transitioning off controlled substances for new patients was a difficult decision for him as a clinician because he considers those first-line treatments.
“There's been an influx of feedback from the market that is negatively affecting our ability to support all of our patients,” Mou said. “We had to make a tough decision here to ensure that the most of our patients do continue to receive high quality care. I have to say, I'm saddened by the decision.”
Mou said a minority of Cerebral’s patients are prescribed controlled substances and the company closely follows state and federal guidelines for prescribing controlled substances.
Last week, Cerebral’s previous CEO Kyle Robertson was forced out and replaced by Mou, who previously served as president and chief medical officer. Robertson’s departure, which he reportedly contests, came after mounting criticism of the startup's prescribing practices, including three lawsuits by former employees and a federal investigation.
On April 27, The Wall Street Journal reported that national pharmacy chains were probing the prescription practices at Cerebral and Done Health. The story alleged CVS Health, Walmart and Walgreens blocked and delayed some Cerebral and Done Health prescriptions due to Adderall over-prescribing concerns. Another pharmacy, online venture-backed TruePill, said it paused Adderall and other controlled substances prescription fulfillment.
A representative from Walgreens did not say whether it had stopped filling prescriptions but if "red flags exist on a prescription that cannot be resolved, our pharmacists will refuse to fill the prescription."