Affordable medications for IVF treatment: Where to buy them & programs that can help
Medications for IVF treatment are among the priciest elements you need to consider when undergoing fertility treatments – usually costing several thousands of dollars or more. And the cost of IVF medications has risen by 50% over the past years, according to GoodRx. Speaking from experience, obtaining these medications promptly and for the best price is often top of mind. To help support you in sourcing medications quickly and affordably, I have detailed several financial assistance programs as well as options for safely obtaining the medicines you require.
Four financial assistance programs to consider for IVF treatment medications
EMD Serono Compassionate Care Program:
EMD Serono's programs provide discounted medications to patients paying out of pocket based on financial need or military status.
You may be eligible to receive up to a 50% discount on Gonal-f, Ovidrel, and Cetrotide. In addition, military personnel and veterans can receive at least a 10% discount and up to 50% more based on income. You can quickly and easily determine your eligibility using the Fertility LifeLines Savings Screener.
Other eligibility requirements:
Submit your tax forms or W2s
Can use your discount for multiple cycles
Must reapply every year
Discounts are redeemable at participating pharmacies only
You must have a valid prescription
This program also provides discounts on fertility drugs. These drugs include Follistim, Ganirelix Acetate, and Pregnyl. To be eligible, you must show proof of your income (tax return) and be paying out-of-pocket 100% for your medications.
Similar to EMD Serono's program, the discounts are available only at participating pharmacies, and discounts expire after a year.
After completing their online application, patients will receive an email with instructions on their discount savings and additional program details. You can apply here.
Ferring has several assistance programs available. For example, the OneHeart program offers rebates of up to $200 for out-of-pocket expenses on Menopur, Ganirelix, Novarel, or Endometrin. You may have insurance, but you must have proof that you paid for the medications out of pocket.
The Heart for Heroes program is for veterans with a service-related injury resulting in infertility requiring fertility treatment. The HeartTomorrow program provides discounted prices for those undergoing egg freezing. And the Heartbeat program assists with those undergoing fertility preservation treatments before cancer treatment.
Click here for more information and to apply to any of Ferring's programs.
You can compare prices on fertility medications on the GoodRx website. You can also search for coupons, co-pay cards, and other discounts by medication. In addition, whenever you search for medicines on their website, there's a Ways to Save section with helpful money-saving tips.
Where to safely purchase medications
The good news is that there are countless options out there for purchasing your IVF medications. But it's critical to vet out these options carefully. First, start with your clinic, as they likely have a pharmacy (or a few) they prefer to work with. In addition, your insurance company may have a contracted pharmacy you can purchase from, and there are numerous online specialty pharmacies. So how do you know where to safely buy your medications, particularly when you're ordering from an online pharmacy?
Some helpful tips:
The pharmacy should be licensed with a state board of pharmacy (i.e., Texas State Board of Pharmacy).
There should be a licensed pharmacist on staff to answer any questions.
The pharmacy should be able to provide a physical address and telephone number in the United States.
A prescription should be required.
Try calling the online pharmacy first before ordering and sending payment.
Ask your clinic about any online pharmacies they've had success using.
When receiving prescriptions, verify that they are shipped in tamper-resistant packaging without any broken seals.
If the price is too good to be true, it just might be.
A note about international pharmacies
You may be able to save significantly on the cost of your medications by ordering from an international pharmacy. However, these medications are not regulated by the FDA (the U.S. Food & Drug Administration), and they won't help you if any issues arise. In general, it's illegal to import drugs into the U.S. for personal use, but the FDA allows for it if the drugs are "considered not to represent an unreasonable risk." Websites such as Pharmacy Checker provide a list of vetted international pharmacies (although I didn't see any fertility pharmacies on their list).
Below are pharmacies that I've come across in my research. However, this is NOT an endorsement or guarantee of these pharmacies. Please conduct your own research and consult with your physician. Also, don't forget the helpful tips above.