Monday, July 4, 2016

Prescription Contraceptives Via App or Website

It is now possible to obtain prescription contraceptives without ever having to schedule a visit to a doctor's office. A growing number of websites and apps allow you to fill out your personal and health information online or on an app and then have a videoconference or phone conversation with a licensed doctor; after approval of your prescription, your contraceptives (pills, patches, and in some cases even the morning-after pill) can be shipped directly to you.

Contraceptives are currently available only by prescription. Health professionals believe that contraceptives are so safe that they could be made available over-the-counter. However, over-the-counter availability would require approval from the FDA, an expensive and time-consuming effort most drug companies wish to avoid. In addition, the widespread availability of contraceptives without any medical approval at all would likely meet with opposition from conservative groups.

A few states allow pharmacists to write contraceptive prescriptions, but most do not. Web-and app- based services that connect patients to a doctor without a visit to a doctor' office are yet another way to make contraceptives more readily available. Health professionals hope that by making it easier for women to obtain contraceptives, these web-and app-based services will lead to a further reduction in the rate of unintended pregnancies.

For a description of some of the current websites and apps, see this article in the New York Times.

No comments: