One more thing checked off the ‘ol list. I finally ordered my medication today! And let me tell you, it is SUCH a huge relief! I got the order from Dr. K’s office on Monday and it took me a whole 5 days to shop around. They have a pharmacy they typically use called Freedom Fertility, and while the nurse assured me they were going to be the cheapest (for my particular order), I wanted to make some calls and find out for myself. After countless hours of calling pharmacies and spouting off names of medication I’d never heard of…it was a total waste of time…she was right. Well, I take that back…she wasn’t entirely right, technically. There was a place in London called IVFmeds.com that I came SOOO close to ordering from. I must have called them at least a dozen times with a million different questions. An added perk…they each had these lovely accents that I got hear, every single time I called! And the accents weren’t the only bonus…they were $935.37 cheaper than the cheapest US Pharmacy. $900 people! That’s a lot of benjamins!!! So, why didn’t I end up ordering from them? eh, I guess I’ll never really know if I truly made the right decision…but a few things held me back. There were lots of unknowns if I decided to go that route. And although it would have saved us a bunch of money (money that we could totally use to put towards the rest of the IVF cost), there were a few things that were giving me anxiety.
1) First off, I would have had to do rush shipping ($89 for 3-5 bus days) and the order wouldn’t have been processed till the middle of next week. They said with Hurricane Sandy, there were lots of backed up orders. Eeek…what if it didn’t get here in time? They said that I would be able to refuse the shipment if it didn’t arrive on time and they would reimburse us once it was returned. But that means I would still have to order the medication from another pharmacy, and then, who knows if that could get here on time, since I’m sure it would have to be a rush order too. Plus, we would have a bunch of money frozen on our credit card before the London meds got refunded. I still have 19 days till I start my stims…but with weekends in there, Thanksgiving in there, and Hurricane Sandy backing up orders…there was just no guarantee. And that, made me nervous!
2) I also asked about the order getting help up in customs. Are meds even really allowed to be shipped across country? He said about 1 in 100 get held up or don’t make it through. Knowing my luck, I figured I’d be that “1” case. Totally not a glass half emtpty type of gal…but just being realistic here. I never thought I’d have 3 miscarriages, or have an ectopic pregnancy that would cause my fallopian tube to burst open and wreak havoc on my other one. I never thought I’d have to have both tubes removed and that IVF would be our only option to have a baby. I never thought any of that could happen. So, could my order, my “1 in 100” order, get held up in customs? It most certainly could.
3) They also don’t send refrigerated items (well they do but they aren’t sent with any type of cold pack. huh? that doesn’t even sound safe. They certainly would no longer be cold after traveling from London to the states) so I would have had to have my RE change 2 of my items to different (but comparable) products that didn’t need refrigeration. I was a little weary about having him change his “usual” med order to accomodate the no-refigeration factor.
4) I know that the FDA has different standards in Europe, so I worried if the meds would be exactly the same as we could get here in the states. Would they be just as strong? Would they work the same? And…what if they didn’t?
5) Also, they told me that they send one of my meds in glass vials with glass lids (european packaging) and that you actually have to break open the vial to get to the liquid. That sure sounds complicated and unsafe. I could just see me trying to break the bottle open only to have it spill everywhere. Yikes! That wouldn’t be much of a savings if I ended up spilling it all, now would it?!
6) I’m pretty sure any medication bought in the states can be written off on our taxes. However, meds bought outside the US cannot be. Even though the savings would outweight the tax write off, it was still something to consider.
7) And last but not least, they don’t send syringes, so I would have had to round those up on my own. And what does that look like? I’m pretty sure if I walked into a pharmacy and asked for about 30 syringes they’d think I was some druggie and call the cops on me. And even if they did decide to give me a boat load of syringes, would they charge me? And if so, how much would that eat into my savings?
Those were all the things swimming around in my head the past 5 days. I just kept thinking…this process is already SO incredibly stressful and there are SO many decisions that have to be made. Why am I making this so difficult? Really, it was because it would have saved us lots of $$$, and anyone who knows me well knows that I am borderline obsessed with getting a good deal on things (#couponaddict). But in the end…my peace of mind is worth more than the savings! And looking at that list above, I’m glad I made the decision I did.
The people over at Freedom were super helpful and it was a breeze to place the order. Plus, my order will be here next Thursday…on ice…and not stuck in customs. Hooray! I feel ike a huge weight has been lifted. Geeze…this should be the easy part…I haven’t really even started the hard stuff. I really have to go with the flow more and stop being a type-A stress case!
And, In case anyone ever stumbles on here that needs ball park pricing on meds, here is what I found out this week. At least this way, my research may not be a total waste of time. This is for the Antagonistic Protocol (each person’s prescription and doses may vary though):
IVF meds.com (from London) – $2,270.42
towndrugstore.com (from Israel) $2,471.84
Freedom Fertility Pharmacy – $3,205.79 (after we receive 2 mail in rebates)
La Jolla Discount Pharmacy – $3,446.68
Village Pharmacy – $5,399.25
Walgreens Specialty – $5,603.21
And that’s just for the medication. Don’t even ask the cost of actual IVF treatment (I’m sure I’ll share it with you at a later date after the sight of it doesn’t make me dry heave anymore). I swear, infertility is hard enough. And the fact that it costs us (and others struggling) a small fortune to “try” for a baby, where others just get to have an orgasm and get knocked up…well, it just adds insult to injury. The hardest part is knowing that there is no guarantee at the end of all of this. In two weeks I am going to shoot myself up with over $3,200 in meds and hope and pray that a baby comes from all of it. If there was a guarantee, I would have no problem forking over as much money as it costs…I’d do it in a heartbeat, knowing that in the end we will have our baby. But not knowing, and throwing TONS of money at something that has a 50% or less statistical chance…well, it’s just plain terrifying! But what keeps me going is the chance. And knowing that now, after my surgeries, this is most likely our only chance. Man, at least we have options. If I lived 100 years ago, I would just be infertile, and that would be that. Actually, I probably wouldn’t even be here because I would have died after my ectopic pregnancy (since I had so much internal bleeding). But today, because of medicine and advancements in technology, I am alive and I have a chance to have a baby. And that chance is one I am going to take…and hold onto with all my might. I know this is going to work! It just has to!
~ xoxo- Mrs. B