Pennsylvania is one of ten states where the pill club is in operation. It’s an app that allows women to get their birth control pills and other contraceptives without seeing a doctor. The Pill Club can prescribe the pill, patch, or ring through their app to women who fill out a questionnaire
“The questionnaire does have questions about their past medical history, their current medical history, as well as their preference for whatever contraceptive method they would like,” said Sandy Wang, Nurse Practitioner, at The Pill Club.
But some gynecologists have reservations. Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, Southside Hospital said, “The idea that over the internet or through filling out a questionnaire a doctor will be able to glean enough information to find the right prescription for that patient so they can choose the one they want I think is incorrect.”
Doctor Schwartz warns birth control can lead to other conditions like blood clots and an increased risk of certain cancers, that can be caught during a doctor’s visit.
Women who use the pill club text through the app with licensed doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses.
Wang added, however, “Of course our services never ever ever replace you know your annual checkups, physicals, pap smears.”
That access extends to minors. In Pennsylvania, they can legally obtain birth control without parental consent or involvement.
Doctor Schwartz says the convenience can be taken advantage of as long as care is not compromised.
“Nobody wants to miss a day of work, make a co-payment if insurance requires it, wait in the waiting room and go through the ordeal of getting to and from the doctors office if they can get their phone out of their pocket, use their thumb, and take care of it in less than 10 minutes, he explained.
The company says it works with insurance companies, and that communications about medical information happen within the app, complying with privacy laws.