If you are about to begin undergoing fertility treatments or taking a new fertility drug, you probably want to understand how much the pleasure is going to cost you. I wish there was a straightforward answer to that question, but in reality your fertility drugs cost will vary widely based on the dosage, your insurance coverage, the pharmacy you are buying from and where you live. However, based on my own costs and on cash pricing charts published by specialized fertility pharmacies, I put together the following list of expected out-of-pocket costs for oral, vaginal and injectable fertility medications. While I can’t promise you that this is what you’ll end up paying, I found that this served as a pretty good guide to help me get a ballpark estimate of how much I’d have to pay in the US for drugs that my insurance might not cover.
Fertility Pills Cost
Clomid / Clomiphene – The popular ovulation induction drug costs between $30-100 for a five day supply, but it could cost you as little as $9 if you buy the generic drug via programs like the Walmart Retail Prescription Program.
Femara / Letrozole – The cost of Letrozole tends to be higher than Clomid, and it ranges between $50-150. Keep in mind that even if your insurance doesn’t cover fertility drugs, it may cover Letrozole since this drug is not yet FDA-approved for ovulation induction (despite its wide usage for this exact purpose). Make sure to check with your insurance prior to paying out of pocket.
Estrace / Estradiol – This hormone is often prescribed to thicken the lining of the uterus, and the name brand Estrace could cost you up to $200 for a 30-pill supply. Fortunately, many doctors approve taking the generic Estradiol instead, which is much cheaper and ranges between $4-20.
Endometrin – The vaginal insert (not your typical pill, I know) contains progesterone 100mg, and is used to lengthen the luteal phase and support implantation. A single insert of Endometrin costs $6-10, so a 21 insert package would sell for $126-210.
Metformin – The diabetes medicine is used to treat some cases of PCOS, because it lowers their insulin levels and can help regulate their menstrual cycles. The generic metformin costs $4-30 for 60 pills.
Crinone – Crinone is actually progesterone gel, not a pill, but I’ll include it in this section anyway. The gel helps prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation and support pregnancy, and can also be used to correct ovulatory problems. A single pre-filled applicator costs $25-30, and you will probably need at least one daily (for as long as 10 week, if you’re pregnant).
Fertility Injectables Cost
Ovidrel – The ovulation trigger shot Ovidrel costs $85-140 for a single pre-filled syringe.
Novarel – Also a trigger shot, Novarel tends to be more expensive than Ovidrel and costs $110-200.
Follistim – The FSH medication Follistim AQ costs around $100 per 100 IU (international unit) at specialized fertility pharmacies, and you’ll need to multiply this by the dosage prescribed to you. For example, a single 300 IU cartridge of Follistim would cost around $300.
Gonal-f – Another FSH medication, Gonal-f costs are similar to those of Follistim – approximately $100 per 100 IU. Here too, the cost at a general pharmacy might be much higher, so do your research ahead of buying and don’t just pick the nearest pharmacy.
Bravelle – Yet another FSH medication, and a similar rough cost of $100 per 100 IU. Expect to pay $75 or even less for a 75 IU vial of Bravelle.
Menopur – The cost of the FSH and LH drug Menopur, which is often combined with Bravelle, tends to be similar to the cost of FSH medications. You can keep using $100 per 100 IU as your rule of thumb here, and expect the cost of a 75 IU vial to be in the ballpark of $75.
Cetrotide – Cetrotide (cetrorelix) is used to prevent premature ovulation. A single daily dose of Cetrotide 0.25mg costs $100-150.
Lupron / Leuprolide Acetate – The injection is used for several purposes, including stimulating multiple egg production and treating endometriosis. A Lupron kit costs $150-200.
I hope this list helps you get a sense of how much your fertility medications would cost you out-of-pocket (or estimate how much money you will be asked to pay after your insurance covers a certain percentage of this cost). This list of fertility drugs costs was most recently updated early 2015, but I will be refreshing it from time to time, so if there are any medications you’d like me to add or if the price you paid is different than what’s in this list, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter (use the hashtag #IFdrugscost)!