IVF drugs: Cost comparison and ways to save

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Looking around for the cheapest ways to buy IVF drugs can save you money. Anyone who has undergone IVF treatment knows just how quickly all of the costs can add up. There are the costly procedures, multiple appointments, time involved and IVF drugs. Some of these items, such as the IVF procedure itself, are essential and there isn’t any way to save money on these items, unless you choose to use a cheaper clinic. But when it comes to the IVF drugs you can pre-order your medication from the cheapest supplier to help you save money.

The savings are particular useful when having treatment privately. But, many private clinics won’t help you work out where you can save costs. Also, they may not be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding out where to buy your IVF drugs. A little investigative work can easily save you hundreds. And if you have multiple IVF attempts, then you can save thousands by shopping around. Pink Families has done a cost comparison to help you get a true answer to which is cheapest.

What we did to find the cheapest IVF drugs

We simply did a cost comparison by calling three high street suppliers in the UK. We also reviewed the price lists of two private fertility clinics in London (the place where most same-sex couples have treatment). The high street providers were ASDA, Lloyd’s Pharmacy and Sainsbury’s. One of the clinics we reviewed prides itself on providing fertility treatment to same-sex families. We did this comparison in July 2014.

We checked three commonly prescribed IVF drugs – Menopur, Buserelin and Ovitrelle – within the range of doses prescribed. The dose you may be prescribed may of course vary from the ones we checked, but the doses we used was for a fairly standard IVF treatment package. Two of the drugs (Menopur and Ovitrelle) are highlighted here in international units or more commonly referred to as IUs. Calculators are available for you to convert IUs into micrograms (mcg) or milligrams (mg).

How much did the IVF drugs cost?

Drug and dose           ASDA             Lloyd’s             Sainsbury’s       Clinic 1            Clinic 2
Menopur 4,800 IU       £1048.00       £1,3848.32       £1056.00             £1,344.00        £1,344.00

Buserelin 11ml            £28.64            £42.96              £59.54                 £130.00           £100.00

Ovitrelle 6,500 IU        £31.38            Don’t have        £32.63                 £21.00             £30.00

Total                           £1,108.02        £1,391.28         £1,148.17            £1,495.00        £1,474.00

Who is the cheapest?

ASDA was the cheapest supplier of IVF drugs. It was cheaper by £387 than the most expensive private clinic. This is perhaps not surprising. ASDA launched a not-for-profit IVF service in 2009.

ASDA explained that it is: “committed to selling IVF medication at a lower cost than anywhere else – meaning couples receiving fertility treatment can potentially save themselves hundreds of pounds.”

The second cheapest was Sainsbury’s. The cost of the Buserelin increased the cost as compared to ASDA. ASDA sold Buserelin in packs of two. This is where the cost was lowered for ASDA.

Lloyd’s was the most expensive high street provider and the private clinics were more expensive than all of the high street providers.

Interestingly, when we spoke with Lloyd’s and Sainsbury’s they initially quoted the wrong prices for Menopur. Lloyd’s initially quoted £488.64 for 1,200 IUs and Sainsbury’s quoted £393.00 for 1,200 IUs.

In the UK, the number of women registered with a same-sex partner who have IVF is increasing. This means that many more women have the chance to save money.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with shopping around for the best deals when it comes to finding the cheapest IVF drugs. Also, it might be worth your while to double check the prices that your pharmacist provides to you given that two out of the three high street providers initially quoted the wrong costs, both of which were initially more expensive.

Image | NathanF

 

 

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