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Where Can I Find The Best Deal on Fertility Medications?
October 24, 2013
One of the largest expenses of fertility treatment is the price of medication, with some medications exceeding hundreds of dollars per dose. Finding the best price on a medication can reward you with a significant amount of money in your pocket. A savvy shopper can usually find medications for less, if you know where to look and how to negotiate the price differences. You may find women on fertility forums have significant networking power when it comes to finding the best price or availability of fertility medications.
It is important to know which medications, if any, are covered by your insurance. Some medications may be covered fully, others may have increased co-pay and there will be some that are not covered at all. Many medications have a generic alternative that may be lower in price or a medication in the same or similar class that has the properties desired. After discussing this with your fertility doctor he may recommend that you still use the higher cost medication as it may work better for you.
Medication may be obtained from your fertility clinic, a local pharmacy, a large big box store with a pharmacy, mail order or online. There are advantages to all of these options. Your fertility clinic may keep their most commonly used medications in good supply. This is a nice feature if you are unsure exactly how much of a medication you will need for the cycle. Having a supply at your clinic in the event you need to stimulate for just a short amount of time may prevent you from buying the larger quantity usually ordered. However, generally the fertility clinic may have higher prices for this convenience. If your clinic participates in a compassionate care program they may have a reduced fee if you income-qualify.
A local pharmacy is convenient for picking your medication up. A majority of them take insurance, if yours happens to cover medications. Many also have a convenient refill program that makes recurrent prescriptions easier to replenish. Some pharmacies have a discount program that allows a percentage off of a non-insured medication as part of their rewards program. However, if you do not live in a larger urban area, your pharmacy may need to order the medication with delivery occurring a day to a week later.
Big box stores, such as WalMart and Target, may offer a discounted price due to the volume of medications they sell.
Mail order fertility pharmacies often have some of the best prices. This is their specialty and they often procure a large quantity of medications at one time, passing their savings on to you. Your clinic may be able to point you in the direction of the best pharmacy prices when it comes to mail order medications.
Online pharmacies not affiliated with a known pharmacy can be a risky venture. It is best to thoroughly research online pharmacies to ensure they meet the minimum standard, and potentially receive referrals from other women on which online pharmacy they used. There are many online pharmacies that offer reputable medications, however, be wary of the overseas pharmacies or pharmacies that tout a significantly reduced price. International pharmacies do not have to adhere to the strict standards of United States pharmacies, which may result in a product that does not have the potency required.
Some drug manufacturers offer savings cards to allow clients to receive the medication at a reduced cost. If you enroll in some manufacturers programs, the saving may be in the hundreds of dollars. (Hint: Fertile Thoughts often posts the latest manufacturer discounts offered under their Fertility Coupons, Discounts and Promotions forum).
Ebay and other online auction sites are sources that are not recommended. You cannot be assured that the medication you are receiving is actually what is on the label. Medications have known to be extracted from even closed containers and replaced with a lookalike substance. While the majority of medications may contain the medication which they are labeled with, some substitutions may be hazardous to your health. Additionally, you cannot guarantee the storage and handling of the medication was in compliance with the recommendations from the manufacturer. Some medications need to maintain a temperature within a certain range, guarding against freezing or excessively high temperatures, or protection from light. While a seller may state the medication was stored in their home refrigerator, it may have been subject to inadvertent freezing or repeated warming as the door to the fridge was opened. If the potential for scam isn't enough to sway you from purchasing from one of these sites, you should know that it is also illegal and in 2010 a woman was convicted of selling her fertility medications.
Using expired medications may decrease their potency. If an injectable medication has been previously opened, there is nearly always a time frame that the medication is considered to have expired after opening. Medications contain preservatives that can maintain their freshness; however, much like your food items that have a best if used by date, they can grow beasies if left open.
Assisted reproduction is very expensive. The one place you will not want to cut corners is on the medication used for your cycle. This could result in poor egg quality, inappropriate or inconsistent ovarian response or a failed cycle. Buying from a reputable pharmacy or clinic ensures consistency in your cycle.