IVF support for UK fertility patients | The Fertility Pharmacy
Increasingly more British men and women embark on their journey to parenthood via IVF treatment abroad. The Fertility Pharmacy and their team of highly-experienced nurses and pharmacists is here for you to simplify this complex process. The Fertility Pharmacy provides a personalised and holistic end-to-end solution for fertility patients. Their mission is to remove the stress associated with the IVF journey.
We have interviewed, Kelly Saynor who is a Director at The Fertility Pharmacy. Kelly combines her nursing and clinical experience with strategic sales and PR skills to grow The Fertility Pharmacy into the UK’s leading IVF medication partner. Kelly is a proud aunt to an “IVF miracle” and says “I’ve seen first-hand how testing IVF can be and as well as being a constant source of support for our patients, I also want to help them make truly informed decisions.”
What problems, in your opinion, can UK patients have when they undergo IVF treatment abroad?
All of the non-UK clinics with whom we work are excellent in every aspect, which is why many UK patients choose to travel abroad for their IVF treatment instead of staying in the UK, where prices for IVF can often be prohibitive to many couples. Many of the international clinics are concerned about what happens to the patient once they return back to the UK in regard to accessing the right medication swiftly and within budget. For many years there has been the worry for patients about accessing UK licensed medications and this has sometimes presented a challenge, with patients not knowing where to go with their prescription. This gap in the process provided by venturing abroad for treatment was what drove us to create a transparent and intuitive service for patients. So, we can dispense UK medication simply and quickly according to the individual protocol.
How can you help patients who live in the UK but have fertility treatment outside their country of residence?
We also recognised recurring reports from patients to whom we delivered medications – that the expectation of self-injection was terrifying, and in fact, according to a recent study 67% of patients experience fear at the thought of self-injecting. So, even though we had created the business around our expert pharmacists we quickly understood that patients needed more help with their medications than just delivering them to the door. As we are actually a team of nurses gathered from all aspects of nursing, between us approximately 50 years of experience, we considered how we could help. From this feedback, the decision was taken to offer a home nurse service to patients who are nervous of needles.
Can you tell us more about your “Nurse at home” service? What kind of help is offered by nurses who visit patients at home?
Yes, the Nurse at Home has been welcomed by patients once they return home, we have found that many ladies feel really overwhelmed and even quite scared at the thought of self-injecting such important medications. The fear of spilling these expensive drugs or simply ‘doing it wrong’ sometimes creates a level of anxiety, which in itself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! Our nurses are not IVF specialists, and this was a conscious decision on our part-we definitely do not want to tread on the toes of the teaching provided by the IVF clinic. We are there with the patient at the moment she first self injects. Our nurses are all injection technique experts and will support her through that first night needle nerves. Our nurses will guide, and encourage the patient to self inject, providing lots of confidence!
Is all IVF medicine that is prescribed by foreign fertility clinics available in the UK?
Yes, we make sure of that. We provide the clinic with a templatised prescription which means that all of the drugs on the list are recognised in the EU but also hold a UK Marketing Authorisation. This means that there is no back and forth between us, clinic and patients sorting out replacement meds. We want to make sure that the whole process of obtaining medication is as simple, smooth and stress free as possible. If, however, there is a problem with a discontinued product we will liaise directly with the clinic to obtain a replacement prescription.
If there is ever a shortage of stock situation, we inform the clinic as soon as we hear.
Can you create a list of IVF drugs available in the UK and forward it to the clinic before the patient goes abroad?
Yes, we ask the clinic for a list of their most commonly used medications and then create a ‘clinic specific template’. This can be changed as preferences change -this approach makes sure that both the clinic and ourselves are up to date with the availability of meds. This also ensures that all the legally required details are included on the prescription from the outset.
Can you offer services to a patient who is having IVF treatment at a clinic that you don’t work with?
We are first and foremost a pharmacy who specialises in IVF medications, so we can take a prescription from any clinic. It is very simple to upload the prescription directly onto our system through our website. Individual Patients can also upload their prescriptions directly in exactly the same way. We know that some international clinics in the past have just given the prescription to the patients and relied on the patient to source their medications any way they can. We wanted to remove that uncertainty by linking with clinics, offering an end to end service for the patient at no extra cost to the clinic.
Do you offer services for patients who are having fertility treatment in the UK?
Yes, all of our services are available in the UK, we work with UK clinics in exactly the same way as we do with international clinics – we look after UK patients no matter where they have chosen to have their IVF treatments.