Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My IVF Meds & Cost

My meds are finally here! They came in a pretty big box packed with ice packs, delivered by overnight shipping. I nervously watched the tracking number updates as it made it's way to me! It was being shipped FedEx, who I haven't had the best experiences with, so naturally I had a little anxiety about their safe arrival.

I'll give a quick summary of all of the medications we received. I may need to order more or get some different medications depending on how the cycle goes. I'm also going to share the price we paid for all of our meds, because I think all of us thinking about doing IVF really wonder how much our meds will actually cost us. But it's important to remember that the prices of these meds fluctuate a lot! Our RE had our financial representative check to see what brands were cheapest, and which pharmacies would give us the best price as well as any discounts.

Gonal-F Redi-Ject Pens

The first medication we will be using is Gonal-F, which will stimulate my ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible. We received 3 Gonal-F Redi-ject Pens, each 900iu. The total cost of these pens was $2,142.00, with each pen costing $714. The pens need to be stored in the refrigerator. The other medication we could have been prescribed was Follistim, which also comes in an injection pen. But the price of Follistim was more than double in price at the time. So we were happy to go with Gonal-F! We are set to start off on 300iu of the Gonal-F each day. My nurse ordered 3 pens, which is enough to stim at 300iu for 9 days. But I am expecting to be able to step that dosage down as the cycle goes on, so I'm hoping I will not need to order any more.

Cetrotide Kit

Cetrotide is started part way through the cycle, and acts as an antagonist (hence the name of the protocol being the Antagonist Protocol). This medication suppresses the body's natural urge to ovulate, so we can mature the eggs properly and time egg retrieval just right. Another brand of this medication is Ganirelix, which was more expensive at the time of purchasing our meds, so we went with the cheapest option. We received 6 Cetrotide Kits, which cost us $470.25 total, or $78.38 for each kit. I don't have the exact pricing for the Ganirelix, but it was over $100 for each kit. These two medications are essentially exactly the same, except for the way they are packaged. Ganirelix comes in a pre-mixed syringe, ready to inject. Cetrotide must first be mixed and drawn up into the syringe before injecting, which isn't difficult to do. The Cetrotide must be stored in the refrigerator.

Pregnyl HCG 10,000iu Trigger

This is one of the triggers that was ordered for us, The trigger is what helps the eggs to mature fully and be ready precisely at the time of egg retrieval. The timing of this shot is critical! Even though the packaging on the trigger says "intramuscular shot only", they have found it works just as well when given as a subcutaneous shot, which is what we will be doing. There are quite a few brands of triggers, and they are all essentially the same. The Pregnyl cost us $92.00.

Lupron Kit for Trigger

This is the second trigger ordered for my IVF cycle. This was purchased as the 14 Day Lupron Kit, which is used in the long protocol (or Agonist Protocol). In my case, if needed, it will act as a trigger. I will use this trigger if it looks like I have been overstimulated and I am at risk for severe OHSS. By using the Lupron trigger, it will eliminate the risk of severe OHSS! There is extra monitoring involved if I need to go this route, and I will need extra bloodwork to be sure my hormones are cooperating. I will also need to use estrogen patches for the remainder of the IVF cycle. This kit cost us $129.00.

Progesterone in Oil

After my egg retrieval, I will begin progesterone supplementation to support the uterine lining. This medication is given as an intramuscular shot. I will be using 22g, 1 inch needles for injecting the PIO. I'm quite petite, so I need to use a shorter needle than most people use. If I get pregnant from our IVF cycle, I will continue the PIO shots until after our first ultrasound. We had 3 vials of the progesterone ordered for us, which cost $81.08 or $27.03 each. As one of the many people out there who has zero coverage for anything fertility related, our insurance somehow allowed this medication to be added to our deductible.

Needles & Syringes

Along with our meds, we received all of the needles, syringes, and alcohol swabs that we will need for all of our injections, along with a sharps disposal container. The total cost of all of this was $16.50.

Total Cost For IVF Meds: $2,930.83

This number may go up if we need to order any additional medications, or if I end up needing the estrogen patches after a Lupron trigger. If you are considering doing IVF, give yourself plenty of time to get the best price on medications. Our RE's office is incredibly helpful in getting the best prices for cash patients and making sure we get all the discounts available to us. But I've heard that a lot of offices don't do this. If yours doesn't, get quotes from a bunch of different pharmacies. Check with the drug manufacturers to see if they are offering any discount programs, compassionate care, or mail in rebates. These are usually listed on their websites, but aren't always available. Even if you think you aren't eligible for a program based on income, apply anyway. We somehow got an income based discount on a few things and I never would have thought we would have qualified. I'm not joking here, there were discounts even for couples making over $100k at our fertility center! Lastly, if your RE's office has a few pharmacies that they have a relationship with, you may be able to get additional discounts on your meds, which is one of the ways we saved quite a bit!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Can you tell me where you ordered your Lupron 14 day kit? My pharmacy is quoting me about $554 for the kit. Please help! Thanks!