A Massive Fraud Case Could Disrupt Adderall Supplies For Thousands

The Department of Justice recently announced multiple arrests

Adderall bottles
The CDC recently issued an alert about possible Adderall shortages.
George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced multiple arrests in what officials referred to as a wide-ranging fraud operation. Attorney General Merrick Garland described the actions of the defendants as “a $100 million scheme to defraud taxpayers and provide easy access to Adderall and other stimulants for no legitimate medical purpose.” The CEO and clinical president of Done Global Inc. were arrested and charged with what the agency called “a scheme to distribute Adderall over the internet.”

The implications of the case could go far beyond two high-profile arrests, however. The same day that the Department of Justice made its announcement, the CDC issued one of its own in connection with the case. Specifically, the CDC warned patients who had used the telehealth service mentioned in the arrests “or other similar subscription-based telehealth platforms” that their supply of Adderall could be at risk. This also, as per the CDC’s announcement, raises the risk of “injury and overdose” for affected patients.

What raised the CDC’s concerns in this case is the possiblity of people taking Adderall for their ADHD who might turn to illicit alternatives. (Particularly those illicit alternatives that involve fentanyl.) The CDC estimates that between 30,000 and 50,000 people could be affected by the Department of Justice’s arrests.

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At Ars Technica, Beth Mole has more details on the case — specifically, the Department of Justice’s contention that Done Global made it easier for people to get Adderall who would not have otherwise qualified for a prescription. Given that Adderall can be addictive, it’s not hard to see where things could go very wrong here. The CDC’s advisory offers tips to clinicians, pharmacists and public health professionals to mitigate the potential damage from Adderall disruption. Hopefully it will be enough to prevent a crisis from developing.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Done Global provided the following statement in response to the recent charges: “Done Global strongly disagrees with the criminal charges filed last week against our founder, Ruthia He, and Dr. David Brody, which are based on events that principally occurred between February 2020 and January 2023. Since our founding, Done Global has worked to make mental health care accessible for tens of thousands of Americans trapped in a spiraling national crisis. Done Global will continue to operate — and do everything in our power to ensure that tens of thousands of Americans that rely on us do not lose access to their mental health care. At the same time, we will continue to support our clinicians as they exercise independent clinical judgment, practice evidence-based medicine, and provide best-in-class health care.”

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