BlueChew is part of a growing practice called telemedicine, which aims to break down some of the boundaries that keep people from accessing health care, like high cost, long appointment wait times, and embarrassment from discussing personal issues with doctors.
Instead, BlueChew allows you to access erectile dysfunction medication from the privacy of your home.
Simply fill out an online questionnaire, and a provider will review your answers and decide whether BlueChew is safe for you to take. Then, BlueChew will mail your medication straight to your door each month.
No awkward face-to-face interactions with your doctor or pharmacist, no worrying about making it to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription refill--just relief from the mortifying, inconvenient struggles of erectile dysfunction.
BlueChew offers two different drug options, depending on your preferences and needs.
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra, and it usually lasts 2-4 hours, so it's better for people who are planning for a specific special event.
Tadalafil, meanwhile, is the active ingredient in Cialis and lasts much longer. BlueChew reports that their drug can be effective for up to 36 hours, so it allows for much more flexibility in when you and your partner want to get it on.
The site itself has a pretty user-friendly interface. There are multiple plan options, so that you can make the decision about how many pills you need per month.
There are plans ranging between $20 and $90 per month for both sildenafil and tadalafil. The larger plans get you more tablets for a reduced price per unit.
The largest plan offers more medication than you'd use in a month (unless you're really enthusiastic), so it might be right for people who don't want to risk running out before the next month's shipment comes in.
The plans run on a monthly basis, but you can put your plan on hold or cancel anytime so you don't end up with a surplus of medication--great in case you're worried about kids or pets who get into everything.
The price doesn't only cover the medication, though; it also includes the online consultation and medical support while you're taking the medication.
BlueChew's primary selling point is the convenience--you can get a prescription from home, and you only have to walk as far as the mailbox to pick it up.
You also don't need to have that awkward talk with your doctor about your penis.
If you're trying to dodge your doctor's questions about when you're coming in for your colonoscopy, or those not-so-gentle hints that you should cut back on alcohol, you're in luck.
BlueChew's staff don't care about any of that--they just want to help you get the erectile dysfunction medication that you need.
The downside to getting medication from a startup rather than a doctor is that the company is commercially driven--they are motivated to sell you their product by reasons other than your health.
As such, BlueChew upsells some aspects of their products more than I'd like.
For instance, they maintain that sildenafil lasts 4-6 hours, while the professionally reviewed medical literature suggests that it typically starts becoming less effective after 2 hours and fades entirely after 4 hours.
They also skim over some of the more serious side effects, like impaired vision and sudden hearing loss.
Some of the testimonials on the site also include benefits that the drugs simply don't provide, like a positive impact on your sex drive or a total absence of any negative side effects.
In addition, the fine print on their Terms and Conditions page says "we do not employ physicians or other health care providers," which worries me a little since they claim that a real physician assesses your questionnaire responses.
If you're a conscientious consumer (and when it comes to your health, I'd hope you are), I'd recommend you do your own research on what the FDA has to say about these drugs rather than taking everything BlueChew says at face value.
There is definitely benefit to these medications, but you should make sure you're well-informed about the risks before diving in.
One other issue I found when exploring the site is that parts of the questionnaire can be ambiguous, and the form-fillable format doesn't allow you to explain yourself as fully as you could to a live person.
For example, "Do you have any other medical conditions or surgeries" is a broad (not to mention grammatically incorrect) question, and I don't know anyone who couldn't honestly answer yes to that question, even if they're just thinking of their asthma or their wisdom teeth removal.
If your medical history is complex, it might be better to suck it up and talk to your primary care physician who already knows a fair bit about your medical history.
Finally, due to legal issues surrounding telemedicine, BlueChew isn't available in all states.
I'm a big fan of the telemedicine model. I think it allows people easier access to necessary medical care, especially if their circumstances make traditional medical models implausible or impossible for them.
But, as with anything related to healthcare, it's critical that you double-check everything from reliable sources, and ask plenty of questions.
I'll reiterate advice that BlueChew recommends often on their site: if you have specific questions, always check with your primary care physician. Don't take risks with your health.
If you're satisfied that sildenafil or tadalafil is worth trying for you, BlueChew could be a really great resource where you can get medication that will help you live your life better.
It's discreet, easy, convenient, and reasonably priced. I'm giving BlueChew a 5/5.
Why not give it a try?