Cerebral Partner Truepill at Risk of Losing License Over Wrongfully Filled Prescriptions

The Drug Enforcement Administration is going after TruePill — the online pharmacy partner of Cerebral — for alleged inappropriate prescribing practices of controlled substances, specifically for the ADHD medication Adderall.

On Friday, the federal agency announced that it started the administrative process of revoking TruePill’s license to prescribe controlled substances. The DEA alleges that TruePill is working in tandem with the troubled behavioral health tech company Cerebral and other unspecified telehealth companies.

Cerebral marketed ADHD treatment with Adderall, among other mental health treatments that included medication, directly to consumers. TruePill, in turn, filled more than 72,000 controlled substance prescriptions, according to a statement.

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“In numerous instances, Truepill dispensed controlled substances pursuant to prescriptions that were not issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice,” the statement reads. “An investigation into Truepill’s operations revealed that the pharmacy filled prescriptions that were: unlawful by exceeding the 90-day supply limits; and/or written by prescribers who did not possess the proper state licensing.”

As many as 60% of the prescriptions reviewed by the DEA from September 2020 and September 2022 were for stimulants.

TruePill is a B2B online pharmacy that works with telehealth companies on the delivery and management of prescription medication, including branded packaging.

TruePill and Cerebral have received heaps of scrutiny over their marketing and treatment practices that involve controlled substances.

Matthew Truebe, formerly the vice president of product and engineering at Cerebral Inc., is suing the company over retaliation claims after he tried to confront leaders over what he claimed was lax oversight of controlled substances, among other things, in April.

A few weeks later, Cerebral halted prescribing ADHD medications while the company’s leadership was changing. In May, the company announced it would stop prescribing controlled substances. Since then the company has faced federal investigations, several rounds of layoffs and the shutdown of parts of the company.

TruePill and Cerebral have not yet responded to requests for comment.

The DEA is not going after Cerebral for its prescribing practices. Cerebral is not directly impacted by the DEA going after TruePill’s license to prescribe controlled substances.

Ronald Chapman II, a federal white-collar defense attorney, said in a statement that the DEA is targeting cases of questionable prescribing where prescribers didn’t have a valid state license for the patient and filled beyond supply caps.

“If in fact prescriptions exceeded the supply cap and lacked state authority, I believe the DEA administrator will revoke TruePill’s DEA registration,” Chapman said. “This would be a business-ending event for TruePill.”

This type of process is slow, Chapman added, and short of a specific order to do so from the DEA, TruePill may continue to prescribe the medications in question.

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Cerebral Partner Truepill at Risk of Losing License Over Wrongfully Filled Prescriptions

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