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Dollars and Sense

by Evelina Weidman Sterling

Fertility treatments are expensive. And about 30 percent to 50 percent of the total costs can be chalked up to fertility medications, particularly the injectables. For a single cycle, the medication costs can easily exceed thousands of dollars.

For many families, it’s hard to budget for the high cost of fertility medications. Given our current economic crisis, people are finding it harder and harder to afford fertility treatments as well as the costs of the medications needed for the treatments to work.

I'm happy to report that pharmaceutical companies are feeling your pain, and many are finding new ways to ease your burden. Three major fertility drug companies — EMD Serono, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and Merck — offer special programs that lessen the cost of many of the most common medications used in fertility treatments today.

Discounts on Gonal-f®
A call to EMD Serono’s Fertility Lifelines gives you access to a Benefits Coordinator who can provide you with more information about affording treatment. For self-paying patients, EMD Serono’s GO Direct to Savings Card helps eligible patients pay no more than $62.00 per 75 IU of Gonal-f® at participating pharmacies, while the Gonal-f® Co-Pay Savings Card helps eligible privately insured patients save up to $200 on out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, EMD Serono offers the Compassionate Care program which allows some patients with no insurance coverage and documented medical and financial need to receive EMD Serono fertility medications free of charge.

Savings on Bravelle, Menopur, Endometrin and Novarel
Ferring Fertility offers the h.e.a.r.t.+ program ( or 1-888-FERRING). For cash paying patients, the h.e.a.r.t.+ card is valid for prescriptions for BRAVELLE®, MENOPUR®, ENDOMETRIN®, and NOVAREL®.. For insured patients, the h.e.a.r.t.+ card is valid for additional savings on BRAVELLE® only. The h.e.a.r.t.+ card is available from your fertility doctor or nurse; present it with your prescription at participating pharmacies.

Reduced Costs for Follistim
To offer more patient discounts, DesignRx has partnered with a number of fertility-related companies, including Merck, the makers of Follistim. These discounts can range anywhere from 15% to 30% depending on which specialty pharmacy you choose. Through their Managed Cash program, DesignRx negotiates drug discounts on behalf of its members. Membership is free.

To find out which program will work best for your individual protocol and treatment plan, talk with you health care provider.


Evelina Weidman Sterling, PhD, MPH, CHES, is the co-author of Budgeting for Infertility: How to Bring Home a Baby without Breaking the Bank along with several other best-selling and award-winning books about fertility, including Having Your Baby through Egg Donation, Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and Before Your Time: Living Well with Premature Ovarian Failure and Early Menopause. She is also the co-founder of My Fertility Plan, an innovative company that provides patients with the information, skills, and tools they need to fully understand their own individual fertility and progress through their infertility treatments in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

Curbing the cost of fertility drugs.

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