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NJ Pharmaceutical Company donates $1M for Fertility Preservation

a blog by Genna Banafato, July 16, 2013

With American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently removing the "experimental" tag from egg freezing, many women are turning their eyes to the possibility of preserving their fertility with the new flash freezing technology that removes the possibility of ice crystals in frozen eggs. ASRM encourages proceeding with caution for all but one group, women who want to preserve their fertility due to medical diagnosis that can render them infertile.

Men have been able to freeze sperm for decades. The amount of fluid inside a sperm cell wasn't prone to crystal formation. Some medical insurance policies even cover the cost of freezing sperm when done for medical purposes. Women haven't been as fortunate. If the topic of fertility was even discussed during diagnosis and treatment of a disease, egg freezing technology was unreliable and cost prohibitive.

Recent legislature in California, backed by the American Medical Association, will hopefully spearhead a movement to have health insurance pay the costs to preserve fertility in these patients. Also advocating for those patients is the Alliance for Fertility Preservation.

Ferring Pharmaceutical, a major New Jersey pharmaceutical company, recently made a significant donation of $1M to the Alliance for Fertility Preservation. A representative for Ferring states, "According to survey responses from cancer survivors of childbearing age, less than half of patients recalled having a discussion of fertility or the effects their treatment might have on their future fertility upon being diagnosed with cancer.[i] Over 70,000 women in their twenties and thirties are diagnosed with various forms of cancer each year.[ii] Ferring believes it is imperative to drive a better dialogue between healthcare providers and patients, which is why Ferring is supporting the Alliance in meeting this unmet need." With this donation, the Alliance will be able to meet previously unmet needs by developing tools to enhance communication between doctors and patients, promote research and provide current and accurate information about fertility preservation.

[i] Lee SJ, Schover LR, Patridge AH, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations on fertility preservation in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2006; 24(3): 2917-2931.

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