Fertility-drug assistance program targets oncology patients

Ferring Pharma will work with Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy for distribution and patient education

Ferring Pharmaceuticals (Parsippany, NJ) and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy (Deerfield, IL) have announced a new patient assistance initiative, dubbed the h.e.a.r.t.BEAT program, that will provide free access to select fertility medications and educational resources to women of reproductive age who were recently diagnosed with cancer and who want to preserve their fertility before undergoing cancer treatment.

Fertility medications available through this program include Ferring’s Bravelle (urofollitropin), Menopur (menotropins) and Novarel (chorionic gonadotropin), which are all injectable hormones used in the treatment of infertility. According to literature cited by Ferring, upwards of 75% of women under 35 who are childless at cancer diagnosis desire to have a family, but have little to no information available to them about cancer treatment’s impact on fertility.

Ferring is funding the program by providing the fertility medications at no cost and paying for distribution, according to the company. In order to comply with patient-privacy issues, the actual distribution, patient engagement and educational resources will be handled by Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. Services provided by Walgreens will include access to specialized nurses, information on the effects of cancer treatment on fertility, and injection training.

As for connecting with prescribing physicians, a Ferring spokesperson explained that “field teams are letting physicians know that this program is available,” but that it will be up to the healthcare provider to decide which product, if any, is medically appropriate for the patient. The program is being kicked off during September, National Ovarian Cancer Month.