The telehealth startup Nurx will prescribe birth control through an app and deliver it on demand. The startup — an alum of the accelerator Y Combinator — just raised $5.3 million for this plan in a Series A round. The round was led by Union Square Ventures with participation from six Y Combinator partners and other investors
Nurx is a service that today prescribes and delivers medication from a mobile app and in doing so is redefining the doctor-patient relationship and the practice of primary care.
A customer who wants birth control through Nurx can download the app or go to the company’s website and select the brand of contraceptive she prefers. The customer has to answer some questions about her health, and a doctor employed by Nurx will review the answers before sending a prescription to a partner pharmacy.
The app can also provide emergency contraceptives like Plan B and non-oral contraception like the NuvaRing.
Nurx accepts insurance, verifying it through photos of insurance cards. Customers without insurance (or who prefer not to use it for contraception) can also pay cash, which averages around $15 a month. For customers using insurance, out-of-pocket costs are generally $0 as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Nurx launched in December 2015. The company won’t disclose how many people use its service now, but Gangeskar says they do fall into some distinct categories. Many customers are minors, uncomfortable going to their parents’ doctors to be prescribed contraception. Others are in rural areas, where getting to the gynecologist every six months is difficult. Many use Medicaid.
Right now, Nurx is operating in California, New York and Washington state. Next are Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Washington, D.C., Gangeskar said. Regulations surrounding telemedicine differ by state.