There are various brands of contraceptive pills in the market today, and Nurx (read as Nur-ex) is one of them. While you can get birth control pills generally by getting a prescription from a reputable doctor or a nurse from the doctor’s office, Nurx has a different approach to distributing its products.
Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesæth founded the company in 2015. They built an application that enables people, even teens as young as 13 years old, to order contraceptive pills and other medicines with just a few taps on any mobile device. Of course, important steps are necessary, such as uploading a photo for identification and answering a few health-related questions (via The New York Times).
People who are always on a time-crunch can easily order pizza or get a cab through an app. Why not medicine? That is what the founders of the brand thought of when they developed Nurx (via TechCrunch). Engesæth, who hails from Norway, and Gangeskar reached out to knowledgeable persons that could help them with their start-up plan.
“Even though I was a doctor and we’d heard about the challenges behind getting birth control, we didn’t feel like we knew anything,” Engesæth said. “I’ll say about the Bay Area; there’s this culture of forward-thinking — you don’t necessarily get shut down with crazy ideas. It would have been very difficult to get where we are if we didn’t have help” (via Brex).
Nurx is called the Uber for birth control
Today, Nurx is known as the “Uber for birth control” (via NBC News). The company delivers the pills to their customers’ doorsteps when they need them, provided that they complete the necessary steps. The app connects users to a provider and gets a consultation before obtaining the medicine. Sounds simple, right?
Furthermore, Nurx helps users with their concerns or questions. The company aims to help people take control of their healthcare, making the system more straightforward and more accessible for many individuals (via Brex). Dr. Edvard Engesæth explains that people sometimes don’t know what tests they need to complete at the doctor’s office, why they need it, and the costs. “We want to put the user in the front seat and let them see what’s happening, and why it’s happening, and ask questions. Putting the patient in control is core to the company,” he told Brex.
The telemedicine app has helped many, especially in states and counties with fewer or no public clinics available where they can get birth control pills. Texas, for example, has the highest repeat teen pregnancy rate, and they also have the highest contraceptive deserts in any place in America (via TechCrunch). Nurx has helped the state and its people when it comes to providing contraceptive pills. Hans Gangeskar revealed in 2017 that their data showed the Lone Star State had the “highest number of sign-ups” (via NBC News).
Nurx offers various medications from birth control to acne treatment
According to the Nurx website, the company provides multiple services and medicine. They are known for their birth control pills from when they started the business. Today, though, they have acne treatment, medicine for migraines, STI testing, oral herpes treatment, and emergency contraception, HIV prep, and HPV screening. The medication is available to everyone, even for people that don’t have insurance.
Like most brilliant ideas, Nurx received a lot of criticism, specifically from pro-life activists and some lawmakers. They believe that the company is promoting a negative notion to teens and other women about conception. “There’s a lot of misinformation about what pregnancy is,” Nurx former CEO, Hans Gangeskar, told the Daily Mail. “If you’re actually pregnant, Plan B isn’t going to work.” While activists continue to block the company’s app from operating in certain states, Nurx also continues to stand by its medical claims and reasoning. The company also insists that it follows a strict medical screening, one more thorough than pharmacies (via the Daily Mail).
Nurx is currently available in 29 states, including the District of Columbia.
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