At some point, nearly every patient undergoing fertility treatment will find themselves using ovulation-inducing medication. There are two types of medications used to induce ovulation: clomiphene citrate or Clomid which comes in a simple pill format or the more powerful gonadotropins (Gonal-F, Bravelle, Menopur, Follistim, and others) which are administered through subcutaneous injection.
It Pays to Shop Around: Cutting the Cost of Fertility Medication
We all know the story about limited insurance coverage for infertility treatment and medications so no need to beat that drum today. Instead let’s focus on solutions by sharing valuable information about which pharmacies offer the best prices and what cost saving programs may be offered by the pharmaceutical companies.
The best resource you have when it comes to this is your nursing team. There are many ways to save money, especially for those that are paying out-of-pocket. Ask your nurse about free medications; pricing specials, buy one get one coupons, discounts, mail-in rebates, and price-matching. Please note that these offerings do change frequently.
Nurses Top Tips to Reduce the Cost of Fertility Medication
- Talk to Your Nurse
Be sure to tell your nurse that you are trying to save money on meds. They usually have the most insight into the current promotions from all the pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies and can steer you in the right direction based on your treatment protocol. They will know whether brand substitution is okay with your doctor. Brand substitution allows more flexibility to tap into current medication promotions but may not always be feasible based on your individual circumstance.
- Get Organized
Create a list of all of your cycle medications with quantities and send the same list off to three pharmacies to gather an ‘apples to apples’ price quote. What you may discover is that the pharmacies will offer good pricing on some of the fertility medications but not others. If this is the case, you may find it advantageous to mix and match. Know that most pharmacies offer discounts only if you purchase your entire cycle’s worth of medications through them. Find out what is included in the price quote. Is shipping included? How about needles and syringes? These things can add up.
- Specialized Pharmacies Offer Best Pricing
The best pricing is most often found at pharmacies that specialize in fertility medications rather than your local drugstore. Most of the specialty pharmacies offer exceptional service, and support resources such as injection videos, ask-a-nurse phone lines and even mobile apps and fertility-cycle planning calendars. Some of the more popular specialized pharmacies are:
- Buying Medications at Your Cycle Start
Your care team typically instructs you to purchase all your needed medication before your cycle start, so you have them at hand, and will not experience any delays. The nurses are aware that some patients choose to purchase medications ‘as they go’ through their cycle, and purchase additional meds as needed along the way. Be aware that this practice makes it necessary for you to be watchful of your medication inventory, as well as know pharmacies that have available meds needed within the day. A common example is that your dose may be increased, and you will need to obtain injectable meds for your evening dose.
- Keep Your Eyes Open
If you do ‘mix-and-match,’ go into it with your eyes open and be sure to build relationships with your pharmacies of choice. You will want to cultivate trusted resources to jump in and help should the rare emergency arise. Emergencies most often take the form of more needles or meds required on weekend or next day. And they are usually solved – so no worries.
Take Home Points
If you are paying out of pocket for fertility medication there ARE ways to save money. Do your homework, ask your nurse or email [email protected] to get your questions answered!