- Kyle Robertson has been replaced by Cerebral Chief Executive Officer Dr. David Mou.
- Robertson co-founded a mental health startup in 2020.
- The move comes at a time when Cerebral is facing scrutiny prescribing highly regulated drugs.
According to a statement from Insider, Kyle Robertson has just been replaced by CEO of Cerebral’s mental health startup.
Cerebral replaces Robertson Dr. David Mou, the company’s chief physician, said the company said in a statement. Jessica Muse, Chief Operating Officer of Cerebral, retains her operational title and assumes the role of President. Dr. Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, joins Cerebral’s council.
In recent months, Cerebral, a provider of mental health therapy and medicines online, has faced increasing scrutiny of its prescribing controlled substances to treat conditions such as anxiety and ADHD. Highly regulated drugs have the potential for addiction and are often not prescribed to people without a personal visit to a doctor.
As part of a major change in its business, Cerebral said this week that it would stop prescribing most of these highly regulated drugs, Insider said exclusively.
In a statement Wednesday, Robertson called the board’s move to replace it illegal and said the directors had tried to accuse him of the company’s problems, the Wall Street Journal said. Robertson did not immediately respond to reports from Insider seeking comment on the story.
On Tuesday, the Journal reported that Cerebral’s board of directors had agreed on a plan to replace Robertson after some members lost confidence in his leadership. They felt that the company was pushing aggressively for the treatment of ADHD and that Robertson was reluctant to follow the advice of doctors, according to the magazine.
Robertson has not agreed to resign since Tuesday night, but has lost access to the company
news system without prior notice, the newspaper said.
“We thank Kyle for his service,” Mou said in a statement. “His vision has resulted in what Cerebral is today: a leading provider of urgently needed mental health services to people who have been unable or unlikely to receive treatment.”
Cerebral has faced increased scrutiny in recent months
Robertson co-founded the company after graduating from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was launched in January 2020 and gained momentum during the pandemic as doctors’ visits moved online. In particular, it began prescribing controlled agents such as benzodiazepines such as Xanax to treat conditions such as anxiety, and stimulants such as Adderall to treat ADHD.
Prior to the pandemic, federal law forbade doctors from prescribing such highly regulated drugs to patients without first seeing them in person. These rules were relaxed during the pandemic, and Cerebral was one of the few companies to begin prescribing controlled substances after online visits.
In the two years since its launch, Cerebral has attracted cash from venture capital firms, including SoftBank and Oak HC / FT. It was valued at $ 4.8 billion in December after receiving $ 300 million led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2.
In the last few months, however, the startup has faced questions about its prescribing practices from news channels, industry observers and a former manager who sued in April.
National pharmacy chains have expressed concern that doctors in Cerebral and other companies are writing too many prescriptions for stimulants, The Wall Street Journal reported in April.
Federal agencies also noticed Cerebral. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating the startup, as Insider first reported in May.
It culminated on Monday with Cerebell’s face on controlled substances. The leaked e-mail, which Insider first reported, stated that the company’s clinicians would stop prescribing most of the controlled substances to new patients from May 20 and to existing patients from October 15.
Inssel, a former federal mental health officer, praised the startup’s ability to expand access to care when he joined Cerebral’s board of directors.
“I look forward to joining this effort with the assurance that society will focus fully on this unprecedented opportunity to provide the highest quality mental health care to millions of people who previously did not have access and therefore could not benefit from effective medical and psychological treatment. , “He said in a statement.
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