Time-Sensitive Fertility Medication Requires the Right Pharmacy

The right fertility benefit is supported by a pharmacy that can deliver medication quickly and reliably

When a woman is pursuing fertility treatment, a delay in taking medication for even a few hours can significantly decrease her odds of conceiving. Most of the time, dosing schedules are predictable. When that’s not the case – such as when a doctor orders a new medication that must be administered within hours – patients need access to a pharmacy that goes above and beyond.

Freedom Fertility does just that. In 2020, Freedom coordinated 2,700 same-day courier deliveries, leveraging nine locations in the Accredo pharmacy network to ensure patients have the medicine they need when they need it. This capability is an important part of the coverage patients rely on during their fertility journey.

With IVF, the clock is always ticking

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that close to 2 percent of the babies born in the United States each year were conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Patients inject IVF medications that stimulate the production of eggs, which are collected and fertilized. IVF medications need to be injected daily, generally at a specific time. In addition to this rigid dosing schedule, they must be kept cold at all times.

These medications are costly, and patients receive the exact amount they need for each month-long IVF cycle. Missed or late injections can cause the cycle to fail.

Patients come first at a fertility-focused pharmacy

A fertility-focused pharmacy has the expertise and specialized staff to deliver superior patient care. It can prepare compounded medications onsite while meeting or exceeding state and federal requirements. The pharmacy’s expertise and good relationships with manufacturers assure availability, even in the event of nationwide drug shortages.

In addition to utilizing UPS, FedEx and other delivery services, a fertility pharmacy sometimes contracts with couriers across the United States to make sure patients get their medications on time.

Freedom Fertility, Evernorth’s fertility-focused pharmacy, employs an in-house courier that drives up and down the Eastern seaboard, putting more than 75,000 miles on their delivery vehicle in a single year. One of their most memorable deliveries was in Boston — but not to a home or a business address. They met the patient at Logan International Airport while they were changing planes during a trip. Equipped with their flight number, phone number, and estimated arrival time, the courier found a spot in the cell phone lot and monitored the patient’s arrival with a flight tracker app.

When the patient landed, they spoke by phone, and the patient was waiting when the courier drove up to the agreed-upon exit door to hand over the insulated package containing their medication. The patient made it safely through security and to their flight, arriving at their destination with the medication they needed to continue their fertility journey.

Originally published on 3/9/21 and updated on 3/29/23.

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FamilyPath has expanded benefit offerings across family-planning, fertility, pregnancy and postpartum care for employers and health plans. Evernorth is committed to addressing disparities in this category of health benefits and has designed an end-to-end, inclusive benefit in family-planning care for members across both in-house capabilities and new partnership solutions.