Cerebral — the ridiculously, predictably profitable, telehealth startup somehow allowed to sell stimulants, benzodiazepines, and even Suboxone often after just 30 minutes of online “consultation” — is continuing its policy walk-back in the wake of damning reports that the company was, well, somehow allowed to sell stimulants, benzodiazepines, and even Suboxone after just 30 minutes of online “consultation.”
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, CEO and co-founder, Kyle Robertson, emailed his employees on Monday to announce that Cerebral would cease prescribing all controlled substances “excluding those in one category” to new patients beginning this Friday, with plans to taper existing patients off by October while also working to transfer them to in-person clinicians. Instead of copping to his unethical, and effective plan to peddle drugs via social media, Robertson justified the strategic retreat by pinning it all on “the evolving landscape around the accessibility of mental-health care, and the ability for patients to return to an in-person or hybrid care model for this treatment.”
Still jonesing for the opiate market — Although the latest announcement is Cerebral’s largest and most drastic shift yet, it still plans to continue forward with its new treatment program for opiate addiction that involves the prescription and sales of Suboxone. As The WSJ explains, the telehealth company reasons that “the need for such care was too great to be discontinued.”
You’ll get no argument from us regarding the need for continuing to address opiate addictions, but after everything that’s been revealed about Cerebral’s inner workings, you’ll have to forgive us if we remain skeptical that the startup is in any way up to the task.
Legal comeuppance — Of course, these newest policy changes don’t reverse the damage Cerebral has already done, and lawmakers are keen to let that be known. Earlier this month, the company’s medical group was handed a subpoena regarding possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act from the Eastern District of New York’s U.S. attorney’s office. Although the company is complying and more than eager to point out that it hasn’t been accused of any legal violations, we have a sneaking suspicion that’s going to change very soon. Luckily, Cerebral now has an overstock of anti-anxiety meds to help it cope with the judicial heat heading its way.