Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Bargain Babies

Following on from my last post, there is of course a chance that IVF number one and two, and whatever bonus frozen embryo transfers are thrown in, won't work. So it was heartening to read about the latest price war being waged by our major supermarket chains.

Having chased the family pound, pink pound and grey pound they are casting their nets wider and netting ... What? ... The overly-stretched-by-fertility-proceedures pound (there must be a snappier phrase, ideas in the comments section please).

The latest loss-leaders being pushed by these ruthless retailers are the drugs for IVF with ASDA (a company buoyed up by Wal-mart backing) offering the drugs at cost price. This doesn't affect individuals going through IVF on the NHS as the standard prescription charge of £7.20 still apply for these. But, once exhausted of state-sponsored options, and whilst foraying in the murky waters of private treatments prescription charges sore (both as in going up and hurting a hell of a lot more).

See ASDA’s press release about the new charges here.

Now I’ve been accused of too much cynicism before, even called up on it. But in this case I doubt the supermarkets are going to defend their decision as being based on a genuine concern for the plight of the infertile. Which means somebody somewhere has done their calculations and figured out that we are a group worth targeting. The give away line in their statement was:

“Infertility is the most common reason for women aged 20-45 to see their GP after pregnancy itself and affects 3.5 million people in the UK.”

You can almost hear them rubbing their money-grabbing little hands at the thought of all those 20 to 45 year old DINKYs out there.

And quite frankly, BRING IT ON.

If they think hauling me through the doors for cut-price drugs will keep me loyal through the nappy, formula, and over-priced jars of baby-food years then that is fine with me. I have no problem with being a charity case.

It is also worth mentioning, in the interest of impartiality, that according to this story Sainsbury's are promising the match the price. And apparently, many private clinics who buy their drugs wholesale, already offer reduced drugs prices. But it certainly does seem to be a idea to shop around.

So tell me Statesiders – do Wal-mart offer the same deal?


  1. Fuck no Walmart doesn't offer the same deal. I am sitting here with a bank account that is $6k lighter due to prescription drugs purchased for my last cycle.

    However, if Wally World starts offering the same deal here I might...MIGHT darken their door. Even though I hate WalMart and consider them evil.

  2. I've heard they have $4 Clomid, but that hardly seems worth mentioning. Most "regular" pharmacies don't even carry this stuff so it is mostly specialty pharmacies which are at a premium to buy locally or mail order to get the most bang for your buck.

    I'm all about cheap meds and would follow them wherever they go...

  3. I'm with Megan. I avoid WM like the plague. But if they started offering the same deal I might just have to rethink that (for the drugs alone). The prices for these things do vary pretty wildly, though. For my last cycle I spent hours calling pharmacies to find the best deal and there were often discrepancies of several hundred dollars (because what else would a woman embarking on IVF rather be doing with her time than asking someone on the telephone, "Can you throw in the syringes for free?")

  4. That's very interesting (both the discount drugs, and the information about why women visit their GPs)

  5. Yup. Here in the grand old US of A you can get your viagra on the cheap at wal-mart but not your fertility drugs.

  6. I don't think Walmart offers fertility drugs in Canada, but I could be wrong. Getting fertility meds valued at thousands of dollars at the same place that sells cutlery sets and low quality camping gear seems kinda sketchy. (Although if the price is right, why not!)

  7. This is making big news at home in Ireland, with NO health service allowances for infertility treatments, NO health insurance companies currently offering any cover at any price, this is great news for the Irish couples saving their money to fly to Eastern Europe every few months.

    Watch the cross border shopping soar, and rightly so. I don't care what their motives are, it's dropping a small bomb into the Irish scene at least.

    Great news I think.

  8. I am trying to think of something intelligent to say about this, but keep getting side-tracked by mental image of Asda-Woman jingle-slapping her rear pocket.

    Also, seriously? Most common cause to see your GP after pregnancy? SERIOUSLY? O.M.F.G.

  9. You pretty much have to special order your fertility drugs from most pharmacies here. Who has time to check Walmart's prices? I got mine from the pharmacy in the fertility clinic.

    I nearly forgot - I nominated you for an award on my blog.


    Nope. Wal-mart does no such thing. Stupid Wal-Mart.