While a number of companies manufacture Adderall and generic versions, pharmacies may find it difficult to switch to other suppliers due to amphetamine’s status as a controlled substance which typically includes restrictions on its use and monitoring of prescriptions. Any given pharmacy could risk raising red flags with the Drug Enforcement Administration by doubling its supply, said Erin Fox, a drug shortage expert at the University of Utah.
“With a controlled substance, it’s harder for patients to call and find a pharmacy that has a product for them,” Ms. Fox said.
Dr Goodman said patients report almost daily that they are unable to get their prescriptions filled. He said his office had to reissue them in different doses to help patients get treatment. Even then, some fail and, without their medication, may miss deadlines or forget important tasks if they are working in a high-pressure situation.
There is little data on telehealth start-ups that have drawn criticism for rapidly prescribing a variety of drugs, including Adderall.
One such company is San Francisco-based Cerebral. A former vice president of Cerebral, Matthew Truebe, has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer, claiming that one of the company’s goals was to prescribe stimulants to 100% of ADHD patients at the business, which he considered “not safe or legal,” according to court records. Mr Truebe also claimed the company had duplicate patients in its database, suggesting some were looking for prescriptions to resell.
Cerebral, valued at more than $1.2 billion this summer, said in a court filing that Mr Truebe was fired not in retaliation, but because he was a “bad performer”. The company received a subpoena from federal investigators reviewing its compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. A rival to Cerebral, called Done, is also under scrutiny by the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Chris Savarese, a spokesperson for Cerebral, said the company had stopped prescribing controlled substances to new patients and had not been accused by any government agency of wrongdoing.
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