December 28, 2015
There is a startup out of San Francisco, CA that is leading the charge in the next on-demand necessity. Nurx has started delivering birth control to subscribers in the Bay Area. The contraceptives that they provide are free for people with health insurance and only $15 per month for people without insurance.
They offer a number of oral contraceptive brands as well as patches and rings, to fit every birth control need. No longer will you have to schlep to the pharmacy and hope you have enough refills on your prescription to get you through the next month. Aside from birth control, they hope to soon be able to offer Truvada for PrEP, a drug treatment that has been effective at preventing HIV transmission. This would help them expand their market beyond women and also help provide more preventative tools for overall sexual health.
Right now the service is only available in California, but Nurx hopes to expand to New York, Washington D.C., Illinois and Washington State soon, and eventually nationwide. They are currently limited only to the areas where pharmacists can write prescriptions.
So how does it work, exactly? First a patient downloads the app. Then all they have to do is enter their health insurance information and choose the birth control brand they want. A doctor remotely reviews the request and if there are no complicating health factors, the doctor sends a prescription to a partner pharmacy and the pills are delivered to the patient.
Founders Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesaeth – who are both from Norway – have a hard time wrapping their brains around why birth control is so controversial in the United States. As they told MTV News, “Coming from a country like Norway it is difficult for us to understand why birth control is so controversial [here]…it shouldn’t be controversial. Nurx will hopefully be a game changer to many underprivileged [people] with limited access to birth control.”
The trend in telemedicine is growing rapidly. Now more than half of the states in the US have laws demanding insurance coverage of such services. has seen a dramatic rise, with more than half of states enacting laws demanding insurance coverage of such services. There has been a recent push toward increasing the birth control supply that women are able to get at a time. Both Oregon and the District of Columbia recently passed laws requiring insurers to provide women with a year’s worth of pills.
The United States is in need of a huge disruption in health care, and this is definitely a step in the right direction. As more states enact laws that make it easier for women, and people in general, to get their hands on preventative medication of all kinds, it will have an expansive effect on a number of social issues our country faces.
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