Telemedicine has been in use since 2015, but the events of 2020 catapulted it to fame and encouraged more people to use it post-pandemic.
Nurx is a direct-to-consumer telemedicine company that offers prescription medications to individuals without a doctor’s appointment or visit to a pharmacy, saving them time and money, and offering complete discretion.
Here, we’ll explore what Nurx does, what makes them unique, and why their model of personalized healthcare might be the solution you need.
Nurx: The Backstory
Nurx is a telemedicine company that specializes in reproductive and sexual health medicine. Founded in 2015 by Norwegian entrepreneurs Hans Gangeskar and Edvard Engesaeth, Nurx is a San Francisco-based company that began as a way to distribute birth control directly to consumers without a doctor’s visit.
Nurx’s business model centers around easy access to important medications. From birth control to sexually transmitted infection (STI) test kits, Nurx makes it easy and discreet for anyone with a smartphone or computer to get the medications they need with very few questions asked.
By filling out a simple questionnaire, you can request birth control, STI testing kits, HIV prep medications, and even acne medications without ever visiting a doctor’s office or traveling to a pharmacy.
Nurx has the backing of Chelsea Clinton and Dr. Regina Benjamin, former U.S. Surgeon General. They employ a team of executives, doctors, specialists, and nurse practitioners who govern their business practices, code of ethics, and prescribing policies.
Why Nurx Is Different From Other Telemedicine Companies
Most telemedicine companies require you to undergo a televisit with a healthcare professional before you can be prescribed a medication. While this is certainly more convenient than seeing your doctor in their office, it’s not convenient if you just need a refill, or don’t want to discuss a private matter, like STI testing.
Nurx puts the power of healthcare into your own hands. After filling out a brief health history questionnaire (it took us less than three minutes to complete it), you can easily request medications with a click of a button. A Nurx doctor will review your file, message you with any questions or request additional information, and then prescribe necessary medication.
Because you don’t have to speak to a doctor on the phone or do a video visit, Nurx is:
- More discreet
- Incredibly fast
Holly, a TrustPilot reviewer, has this to stay:
“I just started using Nurx for generic Retin-A. The instructions were easy setting up an account and I loved how easy the consultation process was. They responded within a week’s time and my prescription medicine was delivered within a few days.
My consultation cost was $15. That’s cheaper than my copay for a doctor’s visit. Since my use of this medicine is not covered by insurance, I have been getting this in Mexico for years because it’s been very expensive to get in the U.S. until now. Nurx is actually less expensive and I know that I am getting an FDA approved product. I am extremely happy with this service.”
Using Nurx to get your hands on medications you’re already using, or know you need and have used before is a simpler way to manage your healthcare.”
Nurx and Accessibility
Nurx also makes it possible for people living in “contraceptive deserts” to get consistent, reliable access to the contraception and medications they need. Contraceptive deserts are counties that are so-called because they don’t have the healthcare infrastructure to support the number of people that need contraception.
Nurx and Higher Contraceptive Usage Rates
Many people don’t use contraception because they are either embarrassed to obtain it, don’t have access to it, or encounter other situations that act as barriers to the healthcare they need.
Nurx eliminates the barriers, allowing anyone with an ID card, method of payment, and internet access the ability to get contraceptive medications in discreet packaging, with or without health insurance.
By allowing people to have easy, stress-free access to contraception, more people are encouraged to use it, and use it regularly.
It’s More Than Just Birth Control
Sure, Nurx began as a way for people to get easy access to birth control, but the company has expanded to cover additional areas of healthcare, making them a one-stop-shop for medications and treatments for:
- Acne medications, including topical creams, antibiotics, and spironolactone
- STI testing and treatment (including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HPV screening)
- Anti-aging skincare, including retinoid creams
- COVID home testing kit
- HIV prep medication
- Emergency contraception (the morning after pill)
- Rosacea medication
- Genital herpes treatment
- Cold sore treatment
In terms of birth control, you can choose from over 50 brands, including options for the pill, the ring, the shot, or the patch. Have a brand you love? Just request it. Nurx is happy to accommodate the brand and style you love.
You can also obtain fertility testing kits, pregnancy tests, and even many over-the-counter skincare products through Nurx’s website or app. This makes it even easier to get everything you need in one place.
What People Love About Nurx
People that consistently use Nurx love the ease with which they can get their medications. It’s a hassle-free, no-questions-asked format that cuts through red tape to get medication directly into the hands of the consumer.
Meredith from TrustPilot says:
“I’ve never used Telehealth before this experience. I am so pleasantly surprised and grateful for the fast, friendly, courteous service that I received. I have referred at least five of my friends onto the service, and I love the app as well. I intend on doing a review of the service on my YouTube channel after three months. Great experience so far.”
In addition to convenience, the fact that Nurx is affordable is also a key to their success. Nurx will bill your insurance for you, but it is important that you’re specific in terms of letting them know you’d like to use your insurance. Some users found it was easier to use Nurx without insurance.”
Says Kate B., a TrustPilot reviewer:
“When I first started off with Nurx the experience was great and I had no problems at all! They solved any problems I had! But it takes pretty long for them to get back to you. So if you need something right away and can’t wait, you might not have enough time for them to get back to you. Recently I ordered an emergency contraceptive that I had to pay a fee of 15 and wouldn’t have to pay for the full price for it because insurance covered it (which is fine!). There were two options for Ella (2 pills) or plan b (1pill). I chose Ella just in case I threw it up but when it was ready I went to a few pharmacies because they didn’t sell it or have it. I even called a few but they wouldn’t answer or just didn’t have it. I contacted Nurx to change what I had ordered to the plan b and they said that I can buy it over the counter (which I know I can) but I had already paid the fee for them to send it to the pharmacy. So I didn’t want to pay again. They weren’t really helpful. I explained my issue again(why I didn’t want to go and pay again. Full price this time). They kept saying the same thing with buying it over the counter even after I explained. With every response you get you might have the same nurse or a different nurse talk to you because it takes a few hours up to 48 hours for them to respond each time. So I just gave up talking to them and just said I would figure It out on my own…”
Cautions When Using Nurx
As with any product on the market, including telemedicine services, there are always ways to improve. Here’s where we found Nurx to be a little lacking.
While Nurx does accept insurance, their acceptance is limited.
Your insurance might not cover medications you obtain through Nurx. Check with your provider before placing an order with Nurx. If you don’t, you might be charged the full price of your medication if your insurance denies the charge.
Thankfully, most of the medications Nurx offers, like birth control, are affordable even without insurance.
It’s also important to note that Nurx works with other companies (like labs) for test results. If your insurance requires you to use a particular network of labs, you might be excluded from coverage.
Nurx is a reputable company with a solid backing of experienced doctors and medically trained personnel.
However, they did receive some bad press in 2019 when a former employee came forward questioning their shipping procedures and accusing them of lobbying efforts to change prescribing procedures for women over 35 requesting birth control pills.
Since that time, the CEO and co-founder stepped down and were replaced by a new leadership team who has eliminated these concerns.
When we signed up for an account and requested medication, we were required to pay for a prescription at the time of the request.
It seems your credit card will be temporarily charged before your file is reviewed and your prescription sent.
Without insurance, our request for a three-month supply of a commonly prescribed birth control pill cost $60.00, which included the doctor’s review.
Is Nurx Right for You?
Nurx is a great option for people who are in good shape with no known health issues, who would like a heavier hand in their healthcare.
Nurx requires you to be self-aware and able to make good choices for your health, and also requires you to be honest about any known medical issues. If you aren’t capable of these requirements, you could end up with a medication that could hurt you or make you sick.
If you’d rather have more doctor guidance when getting a prescription, Nurx may not be the best option. Nurx gives you the ultimate responsibility when deciding on your healthcare needs, which may be more than you want.
References and Sources:
Breaking down barriers to birth control access: An assessment of online platforms prescribing birth control in the USA
Chasing Growth, a Women’s Health Start-Up Cut Corners (Published 2019)
Bridget Reed is a Tampa-based content development manager, writer, and editor at GR0; specializing in content related to varying fields including medicine, health, and small businesses. Bridget went to St. Petersburg College and majored in Management and Organizational Leadership.