Supermarket giant Asda has said that it intends to offer customers IVF drugs at cost price. Asda has claimed it will charge £1,174.41 for the hormones that are required for one IVF treatment cycle.
According to the Asda, the eight drugs - a combo of hormones and sprays to stimulate hormone production - can cost almost £2,000. Asda has said Tesco, one of its big rivals, sells the drugs for close to £1,600.
The plan to sell the IVF drugs without turning a profit is part of Asda’s aim to position itself as Britain’s most competitive pharmacy.
“We know that an IVF postcode lottery means a considerable number of women will have to pay for additional cycles of treatment and lots of customers have spoken to us about the issue. IVF is extremely expensive,” said Asda pharmacist John Evans.
Sainsbury’s plans to match the price for prescriptions of the drugs, and commented, “We aim to be competitive.”
All bar two NHS trusts offer free IVF treatment, though this can vary between one and three cycles, reports the Metro. This means half of all 40,000 IVF treatments that happen in the UK each year have to be funded by the couples.
Fertility expert Dr Allan Pacey, from University of Sheffield, said, “If they can do then I think it’s great for patients. People getting infertility treatments don’t get many breaks.” However, Dr Pacey also stated couples may get better deals from their clinic, as they often have good wholesale deals.