May 30, 2024

UK chain slashes prices on IVF drugs

Asda wants to become most competitive pharmacy in country

The UK’s second-largest
supermarket chain is slashing the price of IVF fertility drugs to position
itself as the most competitive pharmacy in the country. A spokesman for Asda, a WalMart subsidiary,
explained: “IVF is extremely expensive and around
40,000 women go through it every year. More than 80% of our customers are women
and so naturally we want to help to reduce the cost of IVF by offering the
medication on a not for profit basis, saving our customers as much as £820 per
cycle of treatment.” 

An article in the Daily
gives some background on how IVF is becoming a highly competitive
commercial business:

– or in vitro fertilisation – is one of the fastest and most profitable
branches of medicine… A single cycle of IVF treatment at a private clinic is
believed to cost about £5,000. Infertility is the most common reason for women
aged 20 to 45 to see their GP after pregnancy. The failure to conceive during
the three NHS cycles has led to the boom in private clinics in the UK offering
the service for thousands of pounds. There are currently 115 private clinics
licensed to carry out fertility treatment. The fertility industry is worth around
£500 million and last year produced more than 13,000 babies in the UK. The
huge demand and competition from cheaper clinics abroad has pushed supermarkets
to enter the market and push prices down.”

~ Daily
Mail, Mar 3

Michael Cook