Feds Open Probe Into Whether Telehealth Company Violated The Law In Prescribing ‘Stimulants’: REPORT

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is reportedly probing whether telehealth company Done Global Inc. violated federal law in prescribing “stimulants,” according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter and internal documents.
  • The purported probe signals a growing interest among law enforcement into telehealth companies that prescribed medications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSJ reported.
  • “Done has not received any notifications from the Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Justice, or any other federal agency regarding an investigation. Any reporting to the contrary would be false and inaccurate,” the company told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement, disputing the WSJ’s report.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is reportedly investigating a telehealth company treating patients for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) after it allegedly pressured clinicians to prescribe “stimulants” in violation of federal law, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter and internal documents.

The federal law enforcement agency has questioned people about Done Global Inc.’s practices in prescribing certain medications, the WSJ reported Thursday, not specifying which people were probed. Done clinicians and providers reportedly felt pressured to prescribe stimulants, according to the WSJ.

“Multiple Done providers have specifically expressed a perception of pressure to diagnose ADHD and prescribe stimulants,” an internal Done 2021 report stated, according to the WSJ. Done, however, said that the report wasn’t relevant and that their clinicians use their judgement and follow procedure in prescribing drugs, the outlet reported.

“Done has not received any notifications from the Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Justice, or any other federal agency regarding an investigation. Any reporting to the contrary would be false and inaccurate,” Done told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.

Done and other telehealth services prescribed Adderall, which is classified in the same controlled substance category as methamphetamine, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, which increased the reliance on virtual health services.

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“We do not confirm or comment on ongoing investigations,” the DEA said in a statement to the DCNF.

Federal agencies haven’t contacted Done about an investigation, the company said, according to the WSJ. Done also told the DCNF that it hadn’t received any requests for records or to preserve documents, adding that it is focused on providing psychiatric care while following the law.

Federal authorities have also opened probes into other telehealth companies prescribing mental health medications, such as Cerebral Inc., which said it was subpoenaed in May due to possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act, according to the WSJ.

“We do not comment on pending investigations but are fully cooperating,” Cerebral said in a statement to the DCNF.

In May, Cerebral said it would stop prescribing most controlled substances and that it wasn’t being investigated for violating any laws and was working with investigators, according to the WSJ.

Done prescribed ADHD medication to Harlan Band, who died of acute opiate and cocaine intoxication in December, without knowledge of his past struggles with addiction, the WSJ reported in August. Adderall can increase an addict’s cravings for drugs, according to the outlet.

“Looking at your website it looks as if getting amphetamines is as easy as 1-2-3,” His mother, Debra Dion, wrote, according to the WSJ. “I wonder if any part of your work is assessing whether or not you are dealing with an addict?”
Band’s Done clinician was fired after they were found to be “less qualified to diagnose and manage ADHD” by the company, according to the WSJ.
Federal law requires that clinicians must evaluate a patient in-person before prescribing controlled substances, according to the DEA. An exception was later made to that requirement under a pandemic public health emergency.

The DOJ didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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The Daily Caller News Foundation is a guest author for NRN. They are a non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.