Fertility medication in the US

So as I’ve been reading about fertility treatments and medication and also undergoing some of these myself, I was curious to understand… what the heck are you supposed to do with your meds if you do not need all of them? Are you supposed to donate them, give them to your clinic for patients who cannot easily afford… sell them on a black market….?! For your FYI in case you have never learned anything about American healthcare or infertility…. but this is actually a BUSINESS. Insurance companies, hospitals, doctors are profiting off of your diseases, every 15-min appointment, your inability to conceive naturally. Once you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year and have failed, you’re basically deemed “infertile” regardless of your age, and the ‘ka-ching!’ goes off at every single nearby fertility clinic around you. Billions of dollars are spent on healthcare here in the US every single year with pretty terrible outcomes, and I’m sure millions and millions are spent on allowing families to expand. For a basic IVF medication package, assuming you have zero coverage through your health insurance, the approximate sticker price for one IVF stimulation cycle is $8,900 USD. This number is assuming you don’t require extra meds because your follicles take longer on average to mature. If that number is not terrifying and absolutely absurd to you, you need to leave right now and stop reading this post because frankly, you are out of your mind, and I want nothing to do with you.

So I did look up what you’re supposed to do if you have leftover meds (and, inevitably, you WILL have leftover medications). It is illegal (yes, illegal) to give your meds to someone whose name is NOT on the prescription. It is illegal to try to sell these drugs to a friend or via Craiglist or some black market. It is illegal for pretty much anyone else to use your drugs that is not you. When I think about that, I realize… wow, this system is so unbelievably fucked up. You spend tens of thousands of dollars on trying to conceive, and you cannot even legally give your drugs to someone else who may be in financial need (or need, because some of these drugs have actually had a shortage, or try to recoup some of the insane dollars that were spent on this entire effort? And when someone else may run out of their drugs, be given last minute notice by their doctor that they need to continue medication for a drug they no longer have enough of that has also run OUT at their local pharmacy, they’re technically breaking the LAW if they accept it from someone who wants to give it to them nearby?????

The only people winning in these situations… are the doctors, the clinics, and the health insurance providers. It’s such a sad and infuriating process.

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