Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

Executives of telehealth company accused of fraud that gave easy access to addictive Adderall drug

News

Executives of telehealth company accused of fraud that gave easy access to addictive Adderall drug
News

News

Executives of telehealth company accused of fraud that gave easy access to addictive Adderall drug

2024-06-14 08:09 Last Updated At:08:11

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Top executives of a California-based online mental health company were arrested on allegations of improperly prescribing addictive stimulants like Adderall during the coronavirus pandemic and exacerbating the shortage of the drugs for those who medically need them, officials said Thursday.

Ruthia He, the founder and CEO of Done Global Inc., and clinical president David Brody were arrested Thursday in Los Angeles and San Rafael, California, respectively, for allegedly conspiring to provide easy access to Adderall and other stimulant drugs, which are largely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, in exchange for a monthly subscription fee, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Done Global allegedly helped prescribe more than 40 million pills of Adderall and other stimulants, and earned over $100 million in revenue, prosecutors said. He and Brody could not be reached for comment, and it was unclear if they have hired attorneys. Done Global did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment.

He and Brody are accused of instructing providers on Done Global to prescribe stimulant drugs even if the patient did not qualify, disincentivizing follow-up appointments by only paying based on the number of patients who received prescriptions, and requiring intake appointments to be under 30 minutes, the Justice Department said.

“As alleged, these defendants exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to develop and carry out a $100 million scheme to defraud taxpayers and provide easy access to Adderall and other stimulants for no legitimate medical purpose,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of “potential disrupted access to care” for people who rely on the platform or other telehealth platforms like it to receive medication that could affect 30,000 to 50,000 patients nationwide. There is an ongoing shortage of several prescription drugs used to treat ADHD, including Adderall. The CDC urged people to avoid using medication acquired from anyone other than a licensed clinician and pharmacy.

Last February, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it planned to reinstate longstanding federal requirements for an in-person doctor's visit to receive a prescription for addictive drugs such as OxyContin or Adderall amid growing concerns that some startup telehealth companies were improperly prescribing them.

“In many cases, Done Global prescribed ADHD medications when they were not medically necessary,” DEA official Anne Milgram said in a statement. “Any diversion of Adderall and other prescription stimulant pills to persons who have no medical need only exacerbates this shortage and hurts any American with a legitimate medical need for these drugs.”

Prosecutors allege He and Brody continued to distribute drugs in this manner after knowing of social media posts that Done Global patients had overdosed and died, the news release said. The two also allegedly lied to pharmacies and health insurance providers to ensure prescriptions were filled and paid for, with Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies paying an excess of about $14 million, according to the news release.

The maximum penalty for He and Brody's charges is 20 years in prison.

FILE - Adderall XR capsules are displayed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. The founder and CEO of a California telemedicine company, as well as its clinical president, have been arrested for allegedly distributing Adderall online and conspiring to commit health care fraud through reimbursements for the medication, officials said Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

FILE - Adderall XR capsules are displayed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. The founder and CEO of a California telemedicine company, as well as its clinical president, have been arrested for allegedly distributing Adderall online and conspiring to commit health care fraud through reimbursements for the medication, officials said Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Felipe Mora scored in the 3rd minute, Santiago Moreno scored three minutes into the second half and the Portland Timbers ended Real Salt Lake's club-record 10-match unbeaten run on the road with a 3-0 victory on Saturday night.

James Pantemis finished with three saves to earn his fourth clean sheet in his 11th start of the season for the Timbers (10-8-6), who handed Real Salt Lake (12-4-7) its second loss in its last 19 matches. Real Salt Lake had not lost on the road since a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Inter Miami in the season opener.

Mora used Moreno's 10th assist of the season to score his 11th goal and give the Timbers the early lead.

Moreno took passes from Evander and Jonathan Rodríguez and scored in the 48th minute for a 2-0 lead. Evander notched his 12th assist and Rodríguez snagged his sixth on Moreno's fifth goal of the season.

Evander put the icing on the victory with his 11th goal of the season off a pass from Antony Alves Santos in the final minute of regulation. It was the fourth assist this season for Antony, who had one goal in three starts and nine appearances last season — his first in the league.

Zac MacMath stopped four shots in goal for Real Salt Lake.

Rodríguez, Mora and Evander all have 11 goals, giving the Timbers a trio of players with 10-plus goals in a single season for the first time in club history.

Pantemis held Real Salt Lake's high-scoring threesome in check. Cristian “Chicho” Arango entered play with 17 goals and 11 assists, while Andrés Gómez had 11 goals and nine assists. Diego Luna began the day with a team-high 12 assists to go along with five goals. Luna became first player in the league's 29-year existence to register multiple three-assist matches before his 23rd birthday. He needs three more goal contributions to give RSL three players with 20-plus in a single season for the first time.

Portland leads the all-time series 14-9-10.

Real Salt Lake went 4-0-6 during its unbeaten run away from home. The club has gone 11-2-6 in its last 19 matches to climb into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy. All three leaders lost on Saturday.

Real Salt Lake stays on the road to play Los Angeles FC on Wednesday. The Timbers travel to play the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Portland Timbers' Felipe Mora points toward the sky after his goal against Real Salt Lake in an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland Timbers' Felipe Mora points toward the sky after his goal against Real Salt Lake in an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) fights for possession against Real Salt Lake defender Andrew Brody (2) during an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) fights for possession against Real Salt Lake defender Andrew Brody (2) during an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland Timbers midfielder Evander (10) pushes the ball ahead while Real Salt Lake midfielder Emeka Eneli (14) gives chase during an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Portland Timbers midfielder Evander (10) pushes the ball ahead while Real Salt Lake midfielder Emeka Eneli (14) gives chase during an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Players get into a scuffle during the first half an MLS soccer match between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Players get into a scuffle during the first half an MLS soccer match between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake in Portland, Ore., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Recommended Articles