Did you know that fertility medications can add up to more than 30 percent of the cost of an IVF cycle? And we’re not talking pocket change here. The cost of medications such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid and Serophene), injectable hormones called gonadotropins (Follistim, Gonal-f, Repronex, Menopur, Pregnyl, Ovidrel, and Novarel), and other injectable hormones like Cetrotide (Ganerelix) or luprolide (Lupron) generally runs $3,000 to $5,000 per fresh IVF cycle. Older women may need higher dosages to stimulate ovulation, and costs may be as much as $10,000 per cycle. And these costs are not covered by insurance in most states.
What can you do to make fertility medications more affordable? How can you be sure you’re getting the best quality as well as a good price?
Online Fertility Pharmacies
There are a number of specialty fertility pharmacies that sell medications online. Some of these offer discounts so the costs are lower than buying from your fertility center’s pharmacy. It’s extremely important to be careful when ordering from an online pharmacy, for your safety. A pharmacy website should be located in the U.S., have a licensed pharmacist available for questions, require that you have a prescription from your physician, have a VIPPS Seal of Approval, and have a customer service representative available to you 24 hours a day. The VIPPS Seal of Approval shows they are a National Boards of Pharmacy Verified Internet Pharmacy and that they meet the strict standards of this organization. Be sure to read the fine print before you order—many online fertility pharmacies add on extra charges, so the prices may not be as low as they appear at first.
You may be tempted by cheaper prices from online pharmacies in other countries, but you are taking a huge risk if you use one. Other countries do not have the same standards as the U.S., and fraud and denatured or expired drugs are common. The medications must pass through US Customs and are often delayed for inspection. Several of the fertility medications require ice packs to stabilize the potency of the drugs, and some have a short shelf life. The last thing you’d want is to spend several thousands of dollars on IVF treatment, only to have your medication compromised and have a failed cycle as a result.
WINFertilityRx is a safe way to get the fertility meds you need online at savings of up to 40 percent. Our Medication Bundles save you both time and money. They’re available to all patients from any state with a valid physician’s prescription. And they include First Order Review with a fertility nurse who will explain how to store the drugs and use them, and 24/7 access to a Nurse Care Manager who will provide support and education. Financing options are available so you can pay for your medications over time. All our Medication Bundles are distributed through our pharmacy partners. Of course they have VIPPS Seal of Approval, as well as a full complement of Fertility-specific teams and pharmacists to answer all of your questions.
Big Box Store Pharmacies
The typical fertility prescription can include as many as a dozen different medications. The most expensive hormone medications that require a specific storage process and various syringes, sharps containers, etc. are usually not carried by your local big box store, but some of the other prescriptions you will need could be on their list of cheap generic drugs. Prenatal vitamins, estrogen, progesterone and even Clomid may be on their list. If you have the time and patience, it might be worth checking out.
Don’t Buy Black Market Drugs
Beware of people who approach you in chat rooms, Facebook groups or other social media and offer to sell you fertility medications at low prices. Some of them are selling their leftover medications, so their intentions are good. Others are importing them from foreign countries which don’t have the same standards as the U.S. You don’t know if these medications are legitimate or if they’ve been stored safely at the correct temperature. They may be expired. Besides the fact that selling these medications is illegal, it can be extremely dangerous to use them. Black market fertility drugs that are past their expiration date or have been stored improperly can cause side effects like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and cardiac arrhythmias. You need to be monitored carefully by your reproductive endocrinologist when you’re using fertility medications. It’s too risky to use these without a prescription and supervision.