A report released Monday by an international think tank states that there are loopholes in the rules governing advertising.Center for Data Innovation
The Center for Data Innovation, which studies the intersection of data, technology, and public policy, found that many telehealth companies have used advertising loopholes to aggressively market Adderall to users on social media without the typical disclosures found in pharmaceutical ads.
It explained that pharmaceutical advertising laws and regulations make it possible for companies to post advertisements for prescription drugs without any warnings or information about side effects.
There are a lot of ads on social media for Adderall. The Center for Data Innovation report was published in November. The person who wrote it was Klarity ADHD.
The image is from the source. The Klarity ADHD feed is on social media.
The author of the report said that most medical providers who offer treatment for ADHD act in their patients' best interests and prescribe stimulants when medically necessary.
She told TechNewsWorld that some of the newer telehealth companies, such as Cerebral and Done, have abused the advertising loopholes to market stimulant medications.
Cerebral didn't comment on the story. Done didn't reply to a request for comment before publication.
There are pills before people.
The report said that consumption of stimulant medication has increased in the past couple of decades, following a pattern similar to the opiate epidemic.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increase in the consumption of stimulants, and some companies took advantage of loosened regulations to offer prescriptions.
Stimulant misuse and overprescription face less scrutiny than other Schedule II controlled substances, despite increased consumption and availability.
A number of regulatory changes designed to foster the use of telehealth during the Pandemic allowed for more remote services to be delivered.
In pursuit of rapid growth, some companies prioritized customer retention and satisfaction over ensuring that patients received high-quality care.
The report said that some companies in the space don't meet the standards of in-person psychiatric care.
The diagnostic process for ADHD typically involves a lengthy evaluation in which a medical provider will review a patient's clinical history, discuss reported symptoms, and ask for information from the patients friends and family. Some companies evaluated patients during 30-minute appointments before they reached a diagnosis.
There are help-seeking ads.
Companies advertising Adderall were able to avoid more stringent rules by not mentioning specific drugs.
The FDA classified these advertisements as "help-seeking ads", which means they don't refer to a specific medical treatment for the condition.
The ads will list symptoms of ADHD and encourage viewers to see a doctor if they experience the symptoms.
December 5, 2022. A search for "buy adderall online" returns an ad for Done.
Many of the symptoms listed in the advertisements are common to the human condition and may not indicate that an individual has attention deficit disorder.
These ads risk misleading viewers into thinking they have a condition that can be treated with drugs if they don't understand the risks.
It said that viewers may identify with one or more of the common symptoms in the advertisement and seek out medical treatment for the condition. Some viewers could receive incorrect diagnoses and unnecessary treatment.
Law enforcement audits of telehealth platforms.
The report urged policymakers to focus on improving oversight over those providers and punishing those violating the law, rather than looking for retribution for the telehealth industry.
The report recommended that policymakers take action to identify bad or negligent actors who are responsible for unnecessary prescriptions.Cato Institute
Jeffrey Singer, a surgeon and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, sees some problems with law enforcement assuming a role in regulating the medical profession.
He told TechNewsWorld that he doesn't know many law enforcement people who have medical or pharmacological degrees.
He said that a medical decision is not a decision for the criminal legal system.
In a white paper published in November, Singer and a colleague argued that the medical mismanagement of pain should be addressed through the civil system.
tates establish professional licensing boards to enforce the standard of care rendered by the professionals they oversee, they wrote. Law enforcement should not have a say in the classification of narcotics.
Doctors are crossing state lines.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and state law enforcement agencies are already investigating practitioners and organizations in the health care industry.
She said that the states and the HHS have the ability to expand their operations to ensure greater controlled substances compliance.
The report recommended that practitioners be able to treat patients across state lines. It recommended that policymakers make it easier for patients to get mental health services. Telehealth allows patients to get remote medical care.
State policymakers should join licensing compacts that allow medical providers to practice across state lines.
Lawmakers should go even further, suggested Singer in testimony before Congress. He told the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and broadband that Congress should define the location of the service as the state in which the consumer is located.
He said that the change would increase access to care and allow patients to use expertise that may exist in areas beyond their reach. It would remove the protection from out-of-state competitors that health care providers enjoy. Patients would benefit from increased competition.
Keep an eye out for Telehealth Providers.
The report said that regulatory changes from the Covid-19 pandemic led to the development of a telehealth startup economy. Patients were able to receive medical care from the comfort of their homes thanks to the new companies. Some providers have used the changes to their advantage.
The regulatory changes that allowed companies to flourish should be continued. They should make sure that remote patients get the same standard of care as in-person patients.