Mental health startup Cerebral is under investigation by the US Department of Justice for prescribing controlled substances like Adderall and Xanax. The company received a grand jury subpoena requesting documents from the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York on May 4. Well-informed person first reported.
The company said the same thingand that he was pausing his prescriptions for controlled substances for new patients.
Cerebral offers therapy and counseling for conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and ADHD. Unlike other online mental health services, it also offers prescriptions for controlled substances used to treat some of those conditions.
The company’s prescribing and advertising practices have come under scrutiny from medical professionals, regulators and social media platforms in recent months. He sent ads to Meta and TikTok linking ADHD to obesity, which the platforms fired for being deceitful. Experts said other ads exaggerated the benefits of ADHD drugs and linked vague symptoms to the condition. Nurse practitioners who work for Cerebral said The Wall Street Journal felt pressure to prescribe ADHD medication after a short video call.
Pharmacies like Walmart and CVS stopped filling up Adderall prescriptions from Cerebral and other telehealth companies in April. Cerebral’s “preferred pharmacy,” mail-order pharmacy Truepill, suspended prescriptions for Adderall and other controlled substances last week. The Wall Street Journal reported.
Cerebral also faces an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Well-informed person reported last week. It is not clear if the DOJ investigation is related.
“To be clear, at this time, no law enforcement or regulatory authority has charged Cerebral with violating any laws. Cerebral intends to cooperate fully with the investigation, which we have already transmitted to the US Attorney’s Office.” Cerebral said in a statement to Well-informed person.