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{"id":556841861193,"title":"Nurx Review: Better Healthcare or Just Great Branding?","created_at":"2022-08-16T20:17:49-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Nurx Review: Better Healthcare or Just Great Branding?\",\n \"keywords\": \"nurx, nurx review, nurx reviews, is nurx legit\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team compares the prices between Nurx and another popular online pharmacy CostPlus. We compare both prescription and OTC drug prices, and we highlight a New York Times exposé on Nurx that shed light on questionable company practices.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/nurx-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"creator\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"https:\/\/www.asapivs.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Nurx_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1660696136\",\n\"width\": \"3000\",\n\"height\": \"3000\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/costplusdrugs.com\/\", \n\"https:\/\/www.walmart.com\/ip\/CeraVe-Moisturizing-Cream-Jar-16oz\/681955595\",\n\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/Riboflavin-Enzymatic-Therapy-Inc-Tabs\/dp\/B000QJ2GW0\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/SwimCount-at-Home-Quality-Progressive-Fertility\/dp\/B07Y5P9P2K\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/PanOxyl-Foaming-Peroxide-Strength-Antimicrobial\/dp\/B081KL2QYJ\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/AZO-Complete-Feminine-Probiotic-Clinically\/dp\/B074BLLV81\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2019\/04\/26\/technology\/nurx-birth-control-pills-online-womens-health.html\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"CostPlus\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Amazon\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Walmart\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-08-16\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Nurx_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1660695972\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eN\u003c\/span\u003eurx is an online healthcare service that provides 24\/7 access to doctors and prescription medication with or without insurance. The company sells both generic and brand-name versions of medication. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll compare the prices of medication on Nurx with other online pharmacy options such as CostPlus Drug Company (Mark Cuban’s company). We’ll also highlight real user reviews of Nurx, and conclude with our opinion about whether the company is a good option for patients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003ePrescription Price Comparison\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/costplusdrugs.com\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e has the cheapest average online prescription drug prices that we’ve reviewed. They have a transparent pricing model: the company only charges a 15% premium above manufacturing cost, which allows them to offer drug prices vastly lower than typical prescription drug prices. Thus we will be using this company as the comparator for Nurx in regard to price.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe will first be comparing costs without insurance, for an equivalent comparison, because CostPlus does not accept insurance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHere are a few randomly-selected drugs available on both Nurx and CostPlusDrugs, with a pricing comparison at the time of writing this article:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eVenlafaxine (antidepressant)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $25\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus: \u003cstrong\u003e$6\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBuspirone (anti-anxiety)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $25\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus: \u003cstrong\u003e$3.90\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMetoprolol (blood pressure)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $30\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus: \u003cstrong\u003e$3.90\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOndansetron (anti-nausea)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $15\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus: \u003cstrong\u003e$6.90\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTopiramate (anticonvulsant)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $30\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCostPlus: \u003cstrong\u003e$3.90\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClearly CostPlus offers vastly superior prices to patients without insurance. Their prices are sometimes upwards of 90% cheaper than Nurx prices, and this is even before considering required monthly fees for some Nurx drugs.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs an example, Nurx charges $55 per month for mental health treatment. This is in addition to the cost of any individual mental health drug. This may be a better option for some patients because it includes consultations with psychiatrists, but on a purely cost basis it’s clear that CostPlus is much cheaper.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt is worth noting that some Nurx drugs are free or heavily discounted for patients with health insurance. As an example, the topiramate listed above costs $0 with health insurance on Nurx. So for patients with health insurance, we would recommend comparing costs on both platforms because Nurx may be the more cost-effective option depending on the drug.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOTC Drug Price Comparison\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx also sells a number of over-the-counter drugs and treatments on their website. This term refers to treatments which don’t require a doctor’s prescription to purchase.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t understand why anyone would buy these products from Nurx, as they all are easily acquirable elsewhere and for the most part seem overpriced on Nurx.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBelow is a price comparison of several randomly-selected OTC products sold on Nurx compared with their price on Walmart at the time of writing this article:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCeraVe Moisturizing Cream (16 ounce)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNurx: $19.99\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.walmart.com\/ip\/CeraVe-Moisturizing-Cream-Jar-16oz\/681955595\"\u003eWalmart\u003c\/a\u003e: \u003cstrong\u003e$14.97\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNature’s Way Riboflavin (30 count)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $15\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/Riboflavin-Enzymatic-Therapy-Inc-Tabs\/dp\/B000QJ2GW0\/\"\u003eAmazon\u003c\/a\u003e: \u003cstrong\u003e$13.09\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSwimCount Sperm Quality Test\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $60\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/SwimCount-at-Home-Quality-Progressive-Fertility\/dp\/B07Y5P9P2K\/\"\u003eAmazon\u003c\/a\u003e: \u003cstrong\u003e$22.37\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx: $9.49\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/PanOxyl-Foaming-Peroxide-Strength-Antimicrobial\/dp\/B081KL2QYJ\/\"\u003eAmazon\u003c\/a\u003e: $9.49\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAZO Daily Probiotic\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNurx: $23.13\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e\n\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amazon.com\/AZO-Complete-Feminine-Probiotic-Clinically\/dp\/B074BLLV81\/\"\u003eAmazon\u003c\/a\u003e: \u003cstrong\u003e$20\u003c\/strong\u003e\n\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBased on our analysis, it appears to be more cost-effective to price shop OTC drugs on Amazon and Walmart than on Nurx. There is also occasionally free shipping on Amazon and Walmart depending on your plan with those services, while Nurx charges shipping.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis price differential makes sense logically: Nurx doesn’t really have any competitive advantage when selling third-party OTC drugs. They’re not nearly as large as Amazon and Walmart so they can’t compete on economies of scale, and they don’t manufacture these drugs themselves so they can’t compete on price in that regard either.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNew York Times Exposé Highlights\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx was the subject of an exposé \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2019\/04\/26\/technology\/nurx-birth-control-pills-online-womens-health.html\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003epublished\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e by the New York Times in 2019. Because the article is behind a paywall, we’ll summarize some of the salient reports that we believe consumers should be aware of.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA customer service employee claims that Nurx was storing birth control medications in potentially unsafe conditions: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“When Matt Cronin worked in customer service at Nurx, a San Francisco start-up that sells prescription drugs online, one of his jobs was to manage the office’s inventory of birth control pills. \u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eThe pills were kept in the pockets of a shoe organizer hanging inside a closet, Mr. Cronin said. They had been shipped to Nurx customers from its partner pharmacies, but ended up at the office when they bounced back in the mail. His supervisors regularly assigned him to mail those same medications to different Nurx customers who had not received their pills, he said.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe Times report also claims that executive leaders at the company were pressuring the company’s former medical director to loosen prescribing guidelines in circumstances where there exist federally-mandated warnings due to health risks:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Nurx executives were also trying to loosen prescribing standards, said Dr. Knox. Last year, she said, Mr. Czaja and Mr. Gangeskar asked her to revise a Nurx policy that advised its doctors not to prescribe birth control with estrogen to women 35 and older who smoked. Mr. Czaja said he and other executives wanted to leave the decision to women after informing them of the heightened risks.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBirth control pills with estrogen carry a federally mandated warning cautioning against their use in women 35 and older who smoke. \u003c\/b\u003e\u003cb\u003eGuidelines\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cb\u003e from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also say the risks of prescribing to these women, which include stroke and heart attack, ‘usually outweigh the advantages.’”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider these two anecdotes to be red flags about a company culture that may be unethical and may not prioritize patient health and safety. Of course there is no way to 100% verify these claims, but the New York Times is a reputable source that generally upholds journalistic standards of integrity.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNurx Real User Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the most popular reviews of Nurx is published by a YouTube channel called “The Sub Edit” and has achieved over 40,000 views at the time of writing this article. The creator shares their experience using Nurx and the video appears unsponsored:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/XEqvsBx83bU\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNurx may be a good online pharmacy option for patients with health insurance, because a number of their offerings are free or highly subsidized for patients with healthcare. We consider Nurx a vastly inferior option to CostPlus for patients without health insurance, because its prices are much higher for this patient population.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not recommend shopping at Nurx for OTC drugs, because the same products can be easily found on larger retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and often at a lower cost.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe New York Times published an exposé about Nurx which detailed some concerning allegations. We hope that the company is not prioritizing profits over consumer safety, but it’s impossible to verify these accusations for sure. We do consider this information a red flag.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-08-16T20:34:35-04:00","updated_at":"2022-08-16T20:35:17-04:00","summary_html":"We compare the prices between online pharmacy Nurx and another popular online pharmacy CostPlus. We compare both prescription and OTC drug prices, and we highlight a New York Times exposé on Nurx that shed light on questionable company practices.","template_suffix":"","handle":"nurx-review","tags":"_related:online-pharmacy"}

Nurx Review: Better Healthcare or Just Great Branding?

Nurx Review: Better Healthcare or Just Great Branding?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Nurx is an online healthcare service that provides 24/7 access to doctors and prescription medication with or without insurance. The company sells both generic and brand-name versions of medication. 

In this article we’ll compare the prices of medication on Nurx with other online pharmacy options such as CostPlus Drug Company (Mark Cuban’s company). We’ll also highlight real user reviews of Nurx, and conclude with our opinion about whether the company is a good option for patients.

Prescription Price Comparison

CostPlus has the cheapest average online prescription drug prices that we’ve reviewed. They have a transparent pricing model: the company only charges a 15% premium above manufacturing cost, which allows them to offer drug prices vastly lower than typical prescription drug prices. Thus we will be using this company as the comparator for Nurx in regard to price.

We will first be comparing costs without insurance, for an equivalent comparison, because CostPlus does not accept insurance.

Here are a few randomly-selected drugs available on both Nurx and CostPlusDrugs, with a pricing comparison at the time of writing this article:

Venlafaxine (antidepressant)

  • Nurx: $25
  • CostPlus: $6

Buspirone (anti-anxiety)

  • Nurx: $25
  • CostPlus: $3.90

Metoprolol (blood pressure)

  • Nurx: $30
  • CostPlus: $3.90

Ondansetron (anti-nausea)

  • Nurx: $15
  • CostPlus: $6.90

Topiramate (anticonvulsant)

  • Nurx: $30
  • CostPlus: $3.90

Clearly CostPlus offers vastly superior prices to patients without insurance. Their prices are sometimes upwards of 90% cheaper than Nurx prices, and this is even before considering required monthly fees for some Nurx drugs.

As an example, Nurx charges $55 per month for mental health treatment. This is in addition to the cost of any individual mental health drug. This may be a better option for some patients because it includes consultations with psychiatrists, but on a purely cost basis it’s clear that CostPlus is much cheaper.

It is worth noting that some Nurx drugs are free or heavily discounted for patients with health insurance. As an example, the topiramate listed above costs $0 with health insurance on Nurx. So for patients with health insurance, we would recommend comparing costs on both platforms because Nurx may be the more cost-effective option depending on the drug.

OTC Drug Price Comparison

Nurx also sells a number of over-the-counter drugs and treatments on their website. This term refers to treatments which don’t require a doctor’s prescription to purchase.

We don’t understand why anyone would buy these products from Nurx, as they all are easily acquirable elsewhere and for the most part seem overpriced on Nurx.

Below is a price comparison of several randomly-selected OTC products sold on Nurx compared with their price on Walmart at the time of writing this article:

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (16 ounce)

Nature’s Way Riboflavin (30 count)

SwimCount Sperm Quality Test

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

AZO Daily Probiotic

Based on our analysis, it appears to be more cost-effective to price shop OTC drugs on Amazon and Walmart than on Nurx. There is also occasionally free shipping on Amazon and Walmart depending on your plan with those services, while Nurx charges shipping.

This price differential makes sense logically: Nurx doesn’t really have any competitive advantage when selling third-party OTC drugs. They’re not nearly as large as Amazon and Walmart so they can’t compete on economies of scale, and they don’t manufacture these drugs themselves so they can’t compete on price in that regard either.

New York Times Exposé Highlights

Nurx was the subject of an exposé published by the New York Times in 2019. Because the article is behind a paywall, we’ll summarize some of the salient reports that we believe consumers should be aware of.

A customer service employee claims that Nurx was storing birth control medications in potentially unsafe conditions: 

“When Matt Cronin worked in customer service at Nurx, a San Francisco start-up that sells prescription drugs online, one of his jobs was to manage the office’s inventory of birth control pills. 

The pills were kept in the pockets of a shoe organizer hanging inside a closet, Mr. Cronin said. They had been shipped to Nurx customers from its partner pharmacies, but ended up at the office when they bounced back in the mail. His supervisors regularly assigned him to mail those same medications to different Nurx customers who had not received their pills, he said.”

The Times report also claims that executive leaders at the company were pressuring the company’s former medical director to loosen prescribing guidelines in circumstances where there exist federally-mandated warnings due to health risks:

“Nurx executives were also trying to loosen prescribing standards, said Dr. Knox. Last year, she said, Mr. Czaja and Mr. Gangeskar asked her to revise a Nurx policy that advised its doctors not to prescribe birth control with estrogen to women 35 and older who smoked. Mr. Czaja said he and other executives wanted to leave the decision to women after informing them of the heightened risks.

Birth control pills with estrogen carry a federally mandated warning cautioning against their use in women 35 and older who smoke. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also say the risks of prescribing to these women, which include stroke and heart attack, ‘usually outweigh the advantages.’”

We consider these two anecdotes to be red flags about a company culture that may be unethical and may not prioritize patient health and safety. Of course there is no way to 100% verify these claims, but the New York Times is a reputable source that generally upholds journalistic standards of integrity.

Nurx Real User Review

One of the most popular reviews of Nurx is published by a YouTube channel called “The Sub Edit” and has achieved over 40,000 views at the time of writing this article. The creator shares their experience using Nurx and the video appears unsponsored:

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Conclusion

Nurx may be a good online pharmacy option for patients with health insurance, because a number of their offerings are free or highly subsidized for patients with healthcare. We consider Nurx a vastly inferior option to CostPlus for patients without health insurance, because its prices are much higher for this patient population.

We do not recommend shopping at Nurx for OTC drugs, because the same products can be easily found on larger retailers like Walmart and Amazon, and often at a lower cost.

The New York Times published an exposé about Nurx which detailed some concerning allegations. We hope that the company is not prioritizing profits over consumer safety, but it’s impossible to verify these accusations for sure. We do consider this information a red flag.





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