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Telehealth CEO sued over alleged $100 million scheme to provide ‘easy access’ to Adderall and other stimulants

Federal prosecutors have charged the CEO and chief medical officer of Done Global — a telehealth company that distributes stimulant medications to thousands of patients in the United States — with fraud in an alleged $100 million scheme to provide “easy access” to Adderall and other stimulants.

Ruthia He, the founder of Done Global, was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on charges that she participated in the distribution of Adderall over the Internet, submitted false and fraudulent reimbursement claims and obstructed justice, the Justice Department said in a statement. press release. David Brody, the company’s clinical president, was arrested on the same charges in San Rafael, California.

“They generated more than $100 million in revenue by arranging the prescription of more than 40 million pills,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in the statement, adding adding that these pills were from the Department of Justice. first drug distribution criminal charges related to telemedicine prescribing through a digital healthcare company.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the prescribed drugs often had “no legitimate medical purpose.”

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Court documents allege that he and Brody prescribed Adderall and other highly addictive medications to patients who purchased monthly subscriptions through the company’s platform. They are accused of targeting people looking for drugs with “misleading advertisements.” They are also accused of structuring the company’s platform “to facilitate access to Adderall and other stimulants, including by limiting the information available to Done prescribers, instructing Done prescribers to avoid Adderall and other prescribing stimulants even if the Done member was ineligible, and mandating that initial encounters would last less than 30 minutes.”

“The indictment alleges that the purpose of the conspiracy was for the defendants to unlawfully enrich themselves by, among other things, increasing monthly subscription revenues and thereby increasing the value of the company,” the Justice Department said.

Done Global is accused of prescribing ADHD medications when they are not medically necessary for many patients, the statement said. After patients purchased the monthly subscription, court documents alleged, the platform set up an “auto-refill” feature that allowed subscribers to choose to have a refill request message automatically generated each month .

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Court documents alleged that Done attempted “to use the comp structure to discourage follow-up medical care by refusing” to pay Done prescribers for medical visits, telemedicine consultations, or time spent caring for patients after an initial consultation, and in instead pay based solely on the number of patients who received prescriptions.”

Court documents alleged that even after He and Brody were informed how easy it was to access the stimulants and that “members had overdosed and died,” the company continued to persist in its methods. The executives also conspired to defraud pharmacies, Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers, court documents allege.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert Thursday afternoon warning public health officials, doctors, patients, their families and caregivers of a potential disruption as a result of the charges. “A disruption involving this major telehealth company could impact as many as 30,000 to 50,000 patients ages 18 and older in all 50 U.S. states,” the alert said.

Done was launched two years ago, according to the company’s website, as a “passion project to help friends, colleagues and loved ones who struggle to access mental health care.”

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Members pay a monthly fee of $79 for access to psychiatric board-certified medical professionals on the platform and other resources that help patients with ADHD, according to the website. It costs $199 to start a membership with the company.

Done Global did not immediately respond to a CBS News request for comment. The website is still functioning and the company has not clarified whether it will continue operations. The Justice Department has urged Done patients or medical professionals involved in the alleged illegal activity to report the conduct to the DEA hotline.

He and Brody each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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