Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fertility Medications and Good Juju

When I learned in December that Brandon and I would be doing IVF, I knew from my position at SGFC that there was a lot of hurry up and wait about to happen.  You want to hurry up and get authorization for the cycle from the insurance, and then wait for the cycle to start.  You hurry up and request a start date, then you take birth control pills to wait for that day to come around.  You hurry up and get authorization from the insurance for your medications and send your prescription to the pharmacy, then you wait for the medications to arrive.  Like I said, a lot of hurry up and wait.

I had the required insurance coverage questionnaire for the authorization of my cycle completed and sent to the Blue Cross Blue Shield managed care team leader even before the insurance plan was activated.  To say that I was on top of things and ready to get started is an understatement.  Before I had notification of the authorization for my cycle, I had completed the medication prior authorization form. I just needed the authorization code before I could submit it.  Like I said, I was so ready for this cycle to start.  

Now came the part of picking a pharmacy.  This was hard for me.  I have good relationships with all of the pharmacy reps and I felt like I was cheating on one by picking another.  I finally decided to make my pharmacy choice based on the medication I needed to trigger ovulation.  Dr. Levy had prescribed Lupron.  While I could have gotten Lupron at Ambulatory Care Pharmacy, I would have gotten an entire vial.  That's WAY more than I would have needed and I would have ended throwing out a lot of very expensive medication.  I chose to use Freedom Fertility Pharmacy because they sell Lupron in the form of a trigger.  The process was so easy and I really loved working with Freedom.  I always thought Jeff (the pharmacy's rep) was sugar coating how wonderful Freedom is and I can tell you now - he wasn't.  They are incredible.  The service is truly top notch.

I always knew that fertility medications were expensive, but it wasn't until I started going through this that I realized just how expensive they were!  Freedom Fertility has a price quote calculator on their website.  For shits and giggles, I went onto the website and plugged in my prescription.  Holy crap!  If I did not have insurance coverage for my medications and I had to pay out of pocket for them, it would have cost me over $4100.  And that's just the medication.  That does not begin to cover the treatment process.  Woof.
So now, we're about a week out from starting the medication and I have to say, I am relieved that we have everything we need for this cycle.  I have said it before and I will say it again, I am very lucky to work where I work and be in the position that I am in.  I was able to split the cost of my medications (after insurance coverage of course) with donated medications.  Donated medications come from the drug reps, but more importantly, they come from the patients who have medication leftover from their cycles and are so happy with the outcome that they want to pay it forward.  I wish I could email and thank every single patient whose donated medications were donated to me, but that's a HIPAA violation and I like my job too much.  I am hoping that the good juju from these patients' cycles is passed on to us!