Online mental health startup, Cerebral, has reportedly stated that it is being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
In a company statement, the firm stated that it received a grand jury subpoena last week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, the distribution of potentially addictive medicines like Xanax and Adderall is regulated.
The company clarified that currently no law enforcement or regulatory authority has accused the startup of violating any law, and added that it intends to fully cooperate with the investigation and has conveyed the same to the U.S. attorney’s office.
On Saturday, it was reported that the subpoena issued by the DOJ has demanded that Cerebral turn over documents associated with the firm’s prescribing of controlled substances and its relationship with Truepill, an online pharmacy, as per a copy of the official document.
It was also reported that the company is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over clinician licensing issues and allegations of patients setting up multiple accounts in order to receive more drugs, as per sources.
Cerebral is among the leading online telehealth startups that offer prescriptions of controlled substances without having the patient see a doctor in person.
The startup has been facing scrutiny from the media as well as former employees over its prescription practices. A former executive has claimed that Cerebral puts growth and profits before the safety of its patients, such as overprescribing ADHD medications.
In its statement, Cerebral stated that controlled substances are medically suitable for treating various mental and physical health conditions, adding that they are also considered a standard of care for treating several conditions.
It also maintains that decisions regarding prescriptions of controlled substances are only made by licensed and registered clinicians.
Cerebral further stated that it has dedicated significant energy, time, and resources to make sure its policies and procedures regarding prescribing controlled substances or other medications are medically appropriate and comply with all applicable federal as well as state laws.