The app is currently available for use in California, New York, Washington DC, Washington and Pennsylvania, and Nurx hopes to expand soon to assist patients in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.
With the free app, users seeking birth control register online and fill out a medical questionnaire which is then sent to a licensed medical provider for approval. If the patient’s request is approved, birth control materials are shipped to the patient.
If the patient does not have insurance they are charged the cost of the medication, which starts at around $15, depending on the prescription. In cases in which a person has no insurance, birth control can be provided free of cost.
"You don't have to worry about refilling it. With the app, it automatically sends it [birth control] to you in the mail for free," Erika Riley, a sophomore at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and user of the app, told local station WQAD. "For places that are really rural, it would help a lot to be able to get it straight to your mailbox and you wouldn't have to worry about going to the doctor."
Not all doctors approve of the use of the app, with some arguing that a personal conversation is necessary to avoid the possibility of dangerous side effects.
"The main thing we worry about in hormonal birth control is the increased risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack. There are a lot of different types of birth control out there and you have to find the one that's right for you. It's all the more reason to discuss that with a physician," Dr. Tara Baum, MD, FACOG (Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), board certified OB/GYN at Galesburg Cottage Hospital, told the station.
Currently, there are over 100 nations where birth control is available over the counter. During his campaign, presidential candidate Donald Trump asserted his belief that birth control should be available over the counter in the United States, as well.