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IVF medication – where to buy them?
For many couples who are having difficulty conceiving, fertility drugs are an important part in the treatment and often are the main course of treatment for women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders. Your clinic will prescribe you IVF drugs. Where can you but them? Only at the clinic? How much will they cost you? Don’t worry, you can start to take control of this part of your journey because you should not have to pay more than the ‘cost’ price for IVF medication.
Remember! You don’t have to get your medication from the clinic that prescribed it – which means you can shop around for the best deal. One place to add to your price comparison list is your local pharmacy, supermarkets claim they commit to ‘not for profit’ IVF treatment nationwide. Bear in mind though that your local supermarket quoting “cost price” might be much higher than the “cost price plus markup” of your clinic, so be sure to do your research.
Before you start waving your hard-earned pounds around, let’s look at how it all works.
In the UK, IVF drug manufacturers, along with government agreements, set the prices to be charged to the NHS – this is what is referred to as ‘cost’ price, aka NHS list price. You should not pay too much above this rate for your IVF drugs, in fact, our pharmacy charges NHS list price to all customers, whether you are a patient or a clinic. So those clinics who hike their drug prices by astronomical margins are very naughty!
We feel we almost must apologise for telling you – but we have seen one UK clinic apply an overall margin of 300% on their drug prices. WOW! What? I hear you ask, how is that justifiable? Actually, in our opinion it is clearly not justifiable, so we urge you to shop around for what best suits your situation.
How come clinics charge different prices for IVF drugs?
Well, basically because they can – there is no guidance or restriction on the levels of profit applied to the drugs they provide to you. They are privately run clinics, the governing body is the HFEA, who only go as far as offering information to clinics on how to present success rates; understandably the HFEA does not get involved with levels of the prices of either drugs or treatments. Clinics are free to set their own prices for everything, which is right and proper, but it does mean that you must do your research and try to contrast and compare – good luck!
With regard to your medications, if you remember nothing else, remember this:
No matter what you are told by the doctor, the nurse, the patient coordinator or the secretary, you can ask for your own prescription, because you are free to buy your meds from wherever you like at the price you want to pay.
So, you have to research, shop around and be bold enough to question your clinic – to help you decide where to buy your meds from.
Local pharmacy vs. IVF pharmacy
- A local pharmacy might not charge for the dispensing of the medication.
- A local pharmacy will charge extra for needles, maybe sharps bins, etc. (that’s if they will be able to supply you with them at all.)
- A local pharmacy simply does not have IVF expertise and so are unable to offer any advice to you.
- A local pharmacy should charge ‘cost’ price for the medications.
- An IVF pharmacy will always include the necessary bits and pieces, (known as ancillaries), such as mentioned above.
- An IVF pharmacy will discreetly deliver to your home – we have heard some horror stories about lack of discretion at nonspecialist pharmacies.
- A good IVF pharmacy will provide you with a Patient Handbook if required.
- Our IVF pharmacy will happily answer any medication questions you may have and even provide you with a Nurse at Home to support your IVF journey.
- Our IVF pharmacy charges only the ‘cost’ price for all IVF medication!
The specialist pharmacy is full of experienced people who are actually happy to advise you about your complicated medications, a fact which is always worth including in your decision tree if it’s all a bit of a blur for your IVF brain!
In short, initially, medication prices are confusing and like every other decision in this IVF journey, you’ll have to balance the pros and cons of how much you want to pay against the support you may need. That may even include adding a nurse to help you with the medications. Only you know the answer to that. If you are interested in IVF medication support, delivery, and Nurse at Home service, get in touch with the lovely ladies at The Fertility Pharmacy.