NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s a new app in New York that allows women to order birth control and have it delivered without seeing a doctor.
Even teenagers can order the pill without a parent’s permission.
CBS 2’s Clark Fouraker spoke with one doctor who sees potential risk.
Ali Stack’s birth control is delivered to her door about every three weeks in a box with teas and chocolates. She uses an app called The Pill Club.
“It’s really hard for me to take an hour to walk to the nearest CVS or Duane Reade,” said Stack.
The app delivers birth control and is now able to prescribe the pill, patch, or ring in New York through their app — no doctor’s appointment required.
Sandy Wang is a nurse practitioner and on The Pill Club’s Senior Lead Medical Team.
“The questionnaire does entail questions in regards to their past medical history, current medical history, as well as their preference for whatever contraceptive method they would like,” said Wang.
Some medical experts, like Dr. Benjamin Schwartz of Southside Hospital in Bayshore, warn though the convenience of not standing in line at the pharmacy may come at a cost.
“The idea that over the internet or through filling out a questionnaire a doctor will be able to glean enough information to really find the right options for that patient so that they can choose the one they want, I think, is incorrect,” said Schwartz.
Dr. Schwartz warns birth control can lead to other conditions that can be caught during a doctor’s visit, such as the development of blood clots and increased risk of certain cancers.
Women who use The Pill Club text through the app with licensed doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses.
“Of course, our services never, ever, ever replace you know your annual checkups, physicals, pap smears,” said Wang.
That access extends to minors.
In New York and Connecticut, they can legally apply for and be sent contraceptives without a parent’s permission through the app or at their doctor’s office. In New Jersey, a minor has to be married, pregnant or been previously pregnant.
“I think the whole no prescription thing is good idea, but maybe you would have to be monitored,” said Jennifer Bouche.
“I think it’s incredibly helpful,” said Tirzha Herman. “I understand that a lot of women think that getting birth control is something to be ashamed of, especially trying to go in person. A lot of people don’t also have the resources or even the health insurance to go in person.”
Dr. Schwartz says the convenience can be taken advantage of as long as care is not compromised.
“Nobody wants to miss a day of work, have to make a co-payment because their insurance requires it, wait in the waiting room and go through the ordeal of getting to and from the doctors office if they can just pick their phone out of their pocket, use their thumb, and take care of it in less than 10 minutes,” said Schwartz.
“Some gynecologists take appointments months out, and you need to plan for an appointment in July when it’s April,” said Stack. “That’s just a real hassle.”
The company says it works with insurance companies and communications about medical information happen within the app, complying with privacy laws.
So far, The Pill Club only has a license to prescribe in New York State.