7 Things to Consider When Selecting a Fertility Pharmacy
When you’re new to IVF, it can be difficult to wrap your mind around all of the different medications involved and the role each one plays in the egg retrieval or embryo transfer process.
Even as an IVF veteran, you can think you have it all figured out and then–bam!–your protocol changes and you’re back to square one. From late-night injection questions to last-minute medication needs, IVF can be unpredictable, which is why it’s so important to have a reliable fertility pharmacy on your side to support you every step of the way.
Before starting fertility treatments, be sure to do your research and give yourself time to make an informed decision about which pharmacy you use. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a fertility pharmacy:
1. Inexpensive Fertility Medications
With IVF meds costing up to $10K per cycle, finding the least expensive medications for you is a no-brainer. However, there are a few factors to consider when figuring out what’s the best possible price for your family.
What is covered by insurance? Are your medications covered by your insurance plan or will you be paying out of pocket? Sometimes your insurance plan will cover fertility medications, which is separate from whether they’ll cover fertility treatments, and sometimes your policy won’t. Know exactly what you will have covered before shopping around for costs and use our helpful cheat sheet on what to ask your insurance company here.
Also, note that occasionally, your insurance might charge you MORE for medications that you would be paying out of pocket given the number of discounts out-of-pocket (or cash-pay) patients can get from pharmaceutical manufacturers. So, please do your research on all of your options to find the best possible price.
Remember, you have the right to choose your pharmacy. Many pharmacies have existing relationships with clinics, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your clinic (or insurance company) might recommend a particular pharmacy based on the level of service they’ve seen the pharmacy provide or special pricing negotiated with the clinic to help their patients. However, you should always make sure to shop around other top-tier pharmacies to ensure that you get your best price for medications. Be your own advocate for what’s best for your family.
2. Cheap Can Be Expensive
Yes, you need to find the best possible price but make sure the pharmacy you choose also has top-notch service. You’ll be working hand-in-hand with them throughout your cycle as protocols often change, so please read their reviews to ensure that you have a partner who is willing to work with you and treats you like a person, not like an order number to be fulfilled…or not.
3. Price-Match Guarantee
Unlike typical prescriptions, e.g. antibiotics, fertility medications are expensive enough that pharmacies are willing to compete for your business. For patients that are forced to pay out of pocket for fertility medications, some pharmacies like Rescripted Rx will match any competitor's price to win your business. Know that you have options when finding the best price for your family. You can choose a pharmacy known for exceptional service while still keeping your costs as low as possible.
4. Free Next-Day Air Shipping
This is important. It’s so important that it’s standard for all legitimate fertility pharmacies. So, if your pharmacy doesn’t offer this service, please reconsider moving forward with them. Since all fertility medications need to be taken at very specific times and you need to be closely monitoring your inventory as your protocol potentially changes, you need to be able to get more medications ASAP, if needed. You also might need more medications immediately due to—let’s face it—human error. Whether that means storing them improperly resulting in expiration or accidentally knocking them off a counter and breaking a vial or five, you may need a rush on replacements. Your fertility nurse will work with you to understand your inventory and what might be needed, but you need to have a pharmacy partner onboard with getting you your meds in a day or less, so as to not disrupt your cycle.
5. 24/7 Pharmacist Support
At Rescripted Rx, we know that IVF injections are sometimes done late at night or medication side-effects happen when you least expect them. Your specialty pharmacy should be your first stop for questions or concerns about your fertility medications, which is why our partner pharmacies provide our patients with 24/7 pharmacist availability.
While your fertility nurse might be the best person to ask your “why” and “when” questions, your pharmacist is the best person to answer your “how” questions. How does this medication work? How do I use this Estrogen patch? How do I inject this Progesterone In Oil suspension? Should I be experiencing these side effects? How should I be storing my cold-storage medications? You get the gist.
Make sure your pharmacy has not just someone but an actual pharmacist available to you whenever you might have medication questions and use them. Seriously, they have a doctorate in this stuff!
6. Helpful Medication Education Videos
It’s one thing to get sharpie circles all over your body at your doctor’s office. It’s quite another to be sitting alone in your kitchen late at night, well after business hours, contemplating sticking an actual needle in your butt. Many top-tier pharmacies understand where you’re coming from and offer helpful medication education videos to help you refresh your memory with step-by-step instructions on what to do and what to expect throughout the process. Our favorites are the Rescripted Rx videos, done by fertility nurses who have also been patients themselves and have a great sense of humor about the whole process. But, of course, we’re a little biased.
7. Text Reminders to Take Your Meds
Infertility: when making appointments, ordering meds, and getting bloodwork done is like having a second job!
So, when it comes to taking your meds, it’s refreshing to have technology step in to make sure everything is being managed appropriately and is ONE LESS THING you need to stay on top of. Rescripted Rx is the only pharmacy that also offers a medication management solution to help you manage your protocols and texts you to make sure you take your meds on time. Seriously, it’s super helpful with the ten thousand other things you need to do today. Check it out here.
We founded Rescripted Rx along with our pharmacy partners to be a better, more tech-forward option for patients, as former (and current!) fertility patients ourselves. However, we know that there are some other amazing pharmacies out there and encourage you to shop around and do what’s best for you. We believe that the more transparency and self-advocacy we can bring to this space the more we all win so please hit us up, or join our community to ask a question if you’re ever unsure during this process. Here’s how to send your script to Rescripted Rx!
Kristyn Hodgdon is the Co-Founder and Chief Community Officer at Rescripted.