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US charges executives at ADHD startup in $100 million Adderall fraud

The founder and top doctor of a San Francisco-based telemedicine startup U.S. Department of Justice He was arrested Thursday on charges of running a $100 million fraud scheme to distribute Adderall and other stimulants online.

Dawn Global founder Lucia He and clinical president David Brody are the first to be federally indicted on charges of illegally distributing drugs. Telemedicine Company.

Abuse of prescription ADHD medications on the rise among middle and high school students

Both men were arrested Thursday and could face decades in prison if convicted. Lawyers for both men did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Dorn has not been charged and did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Authorities say Dorn used social media to solicit “drug seekers” who would pay a monthly subscription fee to access the drugs whenever they wanted, and arranged to fill more than 40 million prescriptions for pills, including Adderall, a drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Adderall XR capsules are displayed on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. The founder, CEO and clinical president of a California telemedicine company was arrested on suspicion of distributing Adderall online and conspiring to commit health crimes. (AP Photo/Jenni Kayne)

Many prescriptions were not medically necessary, allegedly exacerbating the nationwide Adderall shortage announced in October 2022 and harming patients with legitimate medical need.

He and Brody are also charged with conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by making false representations to pharmacies about Dawn’s prescription filling practices, resulting in more than $14 million in payments from those programs and insurers.

“The defendants, COVID-19 pandemic “He engineered and executed a $100 million scheme to defraud taxpayers and provide easy access to Adderall and other stimulants for no legitimate medical purpose,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

Founded in 2019, Done says on its website that its mission is to “provide awareness and education to help people learn more, provide privacy-protected, accurate medical diagnoses via telehealth, and practical ways to receive immediate treatment.”

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Tuesday’s allegations come after The Wall Street Journal reported in 2022 that some telehealth companies saw an opportunity to meet growing patient demand for controlled substances, with some clinicians feeling pressured to write prescriptions.

The government classifies Adderall as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse and addiction, a group that also includes products such as cocaine, methamphetamine and the opioid OxyContin.