SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major step forward for HIV prevention, Nurx, a direct to consumer telemedicine platform, today announced the launch of a new at-home lab testing kit for patients seeking PrEP, a medication that helps keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. The kit allows patients to discreetly complete all the testing required before initiating PrEP, including a 4th generation HIV test and kidney monitoring. While Nurx has offered PrEP treatment since 2016, this is the first time any company has been able to offer a service that allows patients to consult with a provider as to whether PrEP is right for them, complete the necessary lab work, receive a prescription, fill the prescription, and get PrEP medication delivered straight to their door—all without needing to visit a physical health clinic.
"This announcement marks a revolutionary step towards preventing the spread of HIV," said Hans Gangeskar, co-founder and CEO of Nurx. "By offering an option for more convenient and discreet testing, we've removed a crucial barrier to treatment, meaning our users will no longer have to travel to an external lab, clinic, or office to receive the lab work needed to start PrEP. Far too often we've seen these practical and emotional barriers prevent patients from getting the health care they need and we're proud that today's announcement will decrease the steps needed and increase the number of patients receiving care."
Taken correctly, PrEP is up to 99 percent effective at preventing HIV infection and yet less than 10 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who might benefit from PrEP actually use it. Studies have shown PrEP is underutilized for many reasons, including lack of awareness, access, and particularly, stigma associated with use. Nurx's new seamless HIV prevention treatment plan addresses these barriers by offering PrEP in a discrete and convenient way. After completing a health assessment with a provider in Nurx's network and determining they are appropriate candidates for PrEP, patients receive a kit, collect a small blood, urine, and swab sample, and mail it back in the provided packaging to Nurx's certified lab partner for processing. Nurx has partnered with Molecular Testing Labs, a state-of-the-art laboratory and industry leader in self-collection kits, to analyze samples.
"Our data shows there's a clear drop off in potential PrEP users at the stage when patients need to physically show up for lab tests," said Nurx's Clinical Development Lead Jessica Horwitz. "For too many people, taking time off work, driving long hours to a clinic and facing the shame of a diagnosis code, is a deal-breaker. We expect to see a significant increase in PrEP users now that we've removed these barriers and we're proud to play a role in combating escalating HIV rates."
Nurx's at-home test kits will be available to Nurx users 19 states and Washington, D.C. at launch. Nurx recently announced it raised over $36M in Series B funding to expand the reach and scope of its platform to those who traditionally lack access to affordable prescriptions and primary healthcare services.
Founded in 2015 by Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesæth, Nurx's medical delivery platform integrates an owned-and-operated pharmacy, a network of partner physicians, and a mobile telehealth app to create a seamless, end-to-end digital health experience for customers. Nurx's telehealth platform gives customers access to a doctor to receive appropriate prescriptions, have those medications delivered, obtain ongoing information about their medication, and answer any follow-up questions. Nurx also works with most forms of insurance, enabling the majority of insurance customers to receive medication for free.
Nurx is a telemedicine platform offering easy online access to medical providers and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. Starting with birth control and PrEP for HIV prevention, Nurx is available in 20 states and counting. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.