Direct-to-consumer women’s health company Nurx is expanding its offering again, this time to include emergency care with the introduction of Nurx Now.
To kick off Nurx Now, the company will offer access to emergency contraception with emergency telephone appointments seven days a week and overnight shipping.
Nurx already offers two morning-after pills, New Day (a generic version of Plan-B One-Step) and Ella. With Nurx Now, patients can have Ella shipped overnight for $ 15 plus the cost of the medication, which is often free with insurance or $ 45 without it.
The company will continue to offer free regular shipping on both drugs. There are plans to expand Nurx Now to offer additional emergency care solutions in the future.
“By meeting the demand for urgent contraception through access to medical providers seven days a week and overnight shipping, Nurx is breaking down barriers to sensitive health needs and providing comprehensive care,” said Varsha Rao, CEO of Nurx, in a statement .
“Our patients who entrust Nurx with their ongoing medical needs are also looking for urgent solutions and Nurx Now will offer them, first in emergency contraception, followed by other urgent care options.”
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
The awareness and use of emergency contraceptives has increased in recent years. In 2004, 75% of women knew what the morning-after pill was compared to when 93% of women said it did in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Likewise, only 4% of women had used emergency contraception in their lifetime in 2002, compared with 22% between 2013 and 2014.
The rise in emergency contraception is partly due to the FDA’s 2013 decision to make Plan-B and its generic forms available over the counter to those over the age of 15.
Despite the increased availability, many barriers around emergency contraception still exist, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. These include common misconceptions like confusing Plan-B with drug-induced abortion, financial restrictions, pharmacies refusing to stock the drugs, or fear of embarrassment if discovered.
With its new emergency service, Nurx wants to improve access to emergency contraceptives.
“By offering emergency contraception with expedited shipping, Nurx makes this valuable pregnancy prevention tool more accessible and continues our commitment to destigmatizing personal health needs,” said Dr. Jennifer Peña, Chief Medical Officer at Nurx, in a statement.
THE BIGGER TREND
Nurx began offering birth control and PrEP prescriptions via telemedicine. Since then, it has expanded to include STI and COVID-19 testing at home, treatments for migraines, and topicals for rosacea.
The company closed a Series C funding round last summer that increased its total funding to $ 113 million.
The Pill Club also offers birth control and emergency pills for shipping. The company raised $ 41.9 million in a Series B expansion earlier this year.
Other consumer health companies, Ro and Hims & Hers, were on an M&A kick this year. Ro bought reproductive health company Modern Fertility in May and home diagnostic company Kit in June.
Hims & Hers added Apostrophe in June to strengthen its dermatology services.