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The Wall Street Journal: CVS and Walmart to stop filling controlled-substance prescriptions for telehealth companies Cerebral, Done

CVS Health Corp. and Walmart Inc. will stop filling prescriptions for controlled substances ordered by clinicians working for Cerebral Inc. and Done Health, the broadest curbs yet by major pharmacies against the telehealth companies following scrutiny of their prescription practices.

A CVS
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spokesman confirmed the change, citing concerns with the two companies following a review it conducted. Cerebral had earlier disclosed the change to The Wall Street Journal. A Walmart
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spokeswoman said the retail giant is taking steps to no longer fill those prescriptions but didn’t elaborate on why it made the decision.

“Walmart is committed to patient safety and well-being,” the spokeswoman said. “We have an audit and compliance process in place that guides our decisions.”

Walmart, the largest retailer by revenue, operates some 5,000 U.S. pharmacy locations and last year bought a telehealth startup now called Walmart Health Virtual Care. That unit doesn’t prescribe controlled substances, the spokeswoman said.

Cerebral called CVS’s decision unfortunate, adding that it was “doing everything possible to ensure these patients get access to medications that their healthcare providers have determined they need.”

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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