The United States is one of the few countries that requires a prescription to obtain birth control. Patients must make a doctors appointment, go for a checkup, and then take their new prescription to the pharmacy.
A new app called Nurx makes obtaining a hormonal birth control prescription much easier.
You don’t need a previous prescription to use the app and there is no physical examination. Users simply answer a required online questionnaire and that information is sent to a partner doctor who writes a prescription, then Nurx fills and mails it.
The company ships pills, patches, and rings within one to two days. Refills can also be automatically scheduled.
The service, including shipping, is completely free to patients who have health insurance.
Launched in November, Nurx says it had 70 new sign-ups in a single day last week. The company is not sharing total user numbers at this time.
The company could decide to expand its services at a later time. For now, it’s focused on a low-risk reoccurring drug prescribed primarily to healthy people.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it supports all increased access to birth control. That group is advocating for over-the-counter birth control which California and Oregon will allow later this year.
Users of the Nurx app must answer questions about their weight, age, smoking, existing medical conditions, and other medications they currently consume.
There’s also a box to type questions or comments for the doctor, who can follow up via a secure message or phone call.
Nurx is currently only available in California, but the company will expand to New York and other states where laws allow soon.
Later this week the company is teaming up with Postmates to offer same-day delivery of birth control, including Plan B, in San Francisco and Palo Alto.