CVS to halt prescriptions for controlled substances from telehealth startups

CVS Pharmacy will no longer be accepting prescriptions for controlled substances issued by telehealth companies Cerebral and Done Health, citing ongoing concerns that were unable to be resolved.

In a statement to The Hill, CVS said it was “important that medications are prescribed appropriately.”

“We recently conducted a review of certain telehealth companies that prescribe controlled substance medications,” the pharmacy chain said.

“As a result of our being unable to resolve concerns we have with Cerebral and Done Health, effective May 26, 2022 CVS Pharmacy will no longer accept prescriptions for controlled substances issued through these companies.”

CVS’s decision was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Cerebral called the timing of CVS’s decision “unfortunate” in a statement to The Hill.

The telehealth company noted that it had stopped prescribing controlled substances earlier this month and was already in the process of transitioning its patients away from controlled substance use, by either finding alternative treatment plans or transferring their care to a local provider.

“In light of CVS’s decision, Cerebral is doing everything possible to ensure these patients get access to medications that their health care providers have determined they need,” Cerebral said.

“This includes reaching out individually to every patient impacted by this development to help ensure that their transition to another source of prescribed medications is as seamless as possible under these circumstances. Our focus is on the health of our patients,” added the company.

Done did not immediately respond when reached for comment.

As the Journal noted in its report, other pharmacies had already adopted policies similar to CVS’s, including some pharmacies at Walmart and Walgreens locations. Pharmacists at these locations expressed concerns that the telehealth companies were over-prescribing certain medications like Adderall.

–Updated on May 31 at 11:27 a.m.

Tags Cerebral controlled substances CVS CVS Pharmacy Done Health mental health telehealth Telehealth

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