The largest online mental health startup has tightened its prescription practices after criticism by medical professionals that its aggressive social-media marketing and workplace culture made some addictive medications too easy to get. And there are signs that scrutiny of mental telehealth is only intensifying.
On Wednesday, SoftBank-financed Cerebral announced it would stop writing new prescriptions for drugs that treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, such as Adderall and Ritalin. That announcement came after a recently departed executive alleged in a lawsuit that Cerebral’s chief medical officer had told employees the company’s goal was to prescribe stimulants to 100% of its ADHD patients as part of a plan to increase customer retention. The company has denied that contention.