SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — PlushCare, the direct-to-consumer online urgent care provider, today announced the launch and availability of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) therapy for prevention of HIV in all states where PlushCare is available. In addition, the company announced that it is expanding its service offering from 17 to 31 states, making it the largest of any telehealth provider to have a PrEP program. The comprehensive end-to-end treatment, complete with consistent online doctor visits, regular lab testing and prescriptions, is a massive step towards lowering and preventing HIV infections in the US. With PlushCare’s PrEP treatment program, patient location and social stigma are no longer barriers to receiving PrEP treatment from top-tier physicians.
“Until now, access to PrEP in most places has been severely lacking, due to social stigma and lack of education among patients and physicians alike. In fact, according to the CDC, 1.2 million people are at greatest risk for HIV, yet only 79,000 actually take the drug,” said Dr. James Wantuck, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer of PlushCare. “We are changing this reality. PlushCare is in a unique position to do so and is making a once devastating and taboo medical issue manageable for all.”
A physical visit to a doctor is not required for PrEP, but regular conversations with a doctor and frequent lab testing are critical – a perfect use for virtual care. Patients first enroll in the PlushCare PrEP treatment program, then have a virtual visit with a PlushCare physician to ask questions and determine their eligibility, and have lab testing ordered. Once the labs return, a Truvada (the medicine for PrEP) prescription is issued if the patient meets the clinical criteria. Patients will pick up a 90-day supply of Truvada at their preferred pharmacy, and PlushCare will remind patients when it’s time to repeat their lab testing and have a visit with their PlushCare physician to discuss continuing treatment.
“When it comes to PrEP treatment, the need for a genuine and trusted patient-physician relationship has never been more important. We provide patients who need PrEP a safe and private service that they can consistently return to for trusted guidance, advice and treatment,” said Ryan McQuaid, co-founder and CEO of PlushCare. “As patients’ needs change, PlushCare adapts with them, which is critical for a high-quality healthcare experience.”
In the US, PrEP is considered a safe and cost-effective