UK support for patients returning home from an international clinic

Kelly Saynor
Director at The Fertility Pharmacy, The Fertility Pharmacy
UK support for patients returning home from an IVF international clinic
From this video you will find out:
  • What services are available for UK patients?
  • How to get support with IVF self-injections?
  • How do templatised prescriptions work?
  • Home care delivery
  • Nurse at Home service



Support for fertility patients based in the UK

Kelly Saynor, Director of the Fertility Pharmacy explains what support is available for UK patients who are in the middle of their hormonal stimulation, IVF treatment in the UK or are planning IVF treatment abroad in the future. Kelly Saynor answered questions about emotional and practical support from qualified nurses, help with hormonal injections, foreign prescriptions and more.

- Questions and Answers

I would like to ask you if you recommend oral or injections when it comes to medication?

I think it would depend on what route that your doctor has prescribed for you. I think that’s very much dependent on the type of protocol that you might have, and the type of patient that you might be. It might be extremely important, that you go down one route or another. Sometimes I think when you have oral medication, the strength of the drug might be a bit different. Sometimes the drugs aren’t available orally. Sometimes they’re only available as an injection. It’s not always the case of choosing. Sometimes the medication is on offer as an injection. If it’s oral, it’s more comfortable.

Do you accept the clinic’s prescription directly? I’m using a clinic in Spain for a donor egg cycle, so my medications are all for my lining, but on my mock cycle, I found it very difficult and very stressful to get a UK pharmacy to accept the Spanish prescription. How can I get medication from yourselves using my clinic’s prescription?

There have been quite a few patients who have come to us with a similar story actually. That’s why we developed the service initially, to incorporate patients who were going to international clinics. We came up with the idea of making a templatized prescription, to make it more straightforward. It was obvious to us. We can accept a prescription directly from you, you can load it up to our website, and we respond. We send you a quota etc. Alternatively, the clinic can upload the prescription, with your permission, because it’s your prescription, they can upload the prescription, and we can work directly with them, and our pharmacy team have the expertise to know which prescriptions are going to be fulfilled with the drugs that they’ve prescribed, so in other words, we always know which products have the UK marketing authorization, which is already on the templatized prescription. So you or the clinic can upload the prescription, and there would be no waiting time because our pharmacists are expert at IVF medications. We accept Spanish prescriptions.

What if you are unable to administer the injections by yourself? Would the nurse be able to provide the service?

I mean some of our nurses have been asked this question already. If you aren’t able to administer it, we do offer a service that the nurse can sit with you, not just on the first day, but they can assist you for four days, five days, eight days. We’d love you to do it, because if you go away for instance, if you go on a weekend break, or g away for work and you need to do it. You’re in the situation where you are the one doing it, and it can be more frustrating or daunting. Our nurses could absolutely deliver the injection for you if you really want to. It’s also possible our nurses would help to teach your husband or your partner or whoever you live with to help to administer the injection on the next night, so that’s another way to help in some cases.

What happens if the clinic sends an electronic prescription is that sufficient? Does the clinic actually have to fill out the template or can I just email you their prescription and you can fill out the template for me? I’m just concerned about turnaround time.

They don’t have to use our templatized prescription service at all. We’ve worked with lots of clinics or patients that send us a prescription message in the format of their own clinic. We can still dispense medications from that format. We simply talk about the templatized version as an easier route allowing clinics to do not worry about working out what medications are available. They can send us the emailed version of the prescription, and we can dispense from that. What happens in some cases though, is that the prescription comes to us via an email, then the clinic would be responsible for sending us the original prescription, which is currently the UK pharmacy law, within seven days or two weeks. There’s a time frame attached to it, but we can go into it depending on how quickly you might need to get the medications or how easy it is for you sent to this prescription back to us. You can just email the prescription to us, you don’t need to worry about the template for now. That’s only really if we are working with your clinic.

For intralipids, do we have to buy the medicine, and you just administer it or does the nurse bring it and it’s included in your service, and we pay you for it?

We’ve had both. We offer the intralipid service, and we will charge you for the service. Normally, if it’s been prescribed, it will be within part of your medication package, and you will just pay for the nurse to come and administer it. It makes sense but some patients have also bought the intralipids and have had a nurse come in and deliver that. In our service though, however, you can do it both ways. You can buy it, and we can just administer it, or you can pay for it and the nurse, who can come and deliver it.

I was told that the UK had a shortage in the estradiol patches that I needed at the time last September or October, and it was very stressful trying to get enough. Is there’s still this shortage now or would you have no problems issuing an alternative?

We’ve come up against lots of different medication issues, and I can confidently say 100% of the time we’ve been able to offer an alternative or let patients know when it’s available. Normally, we will let you know if there is a shortage and let your clinic know, so there is no waiting time. We don’t want to delay your treatment in any way and normally if you have started down that route your clinic will probably want you to start using an alternative rather than wait. It is unpredictable, particularly at the moment with regard to European manufacturer stock, this is a case. It is definitely more of a challenge, but we have never failed to find either the product or an alternative and but we would consult with the clinic first to make sure that what we can obtain actually would do the job that they wanted to do. We would never substitute a product, we can only offer and suggest available alternatives, and we’ve not failed up to now.

What if the time is tight, I need the medications within a few days, and the original paper prescription takes too long to be posted.

We just to reassure you we can actually dispense medications when you upload your prescription, we can dispense them from the emails prescription so you’ll receive your drugs before we need to receive the original.
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Picture of Kelly Saynor

Kelly Saynor

Kelly Saynor is a Director at The Fertility Pharmacy. Having previously run two successful businesses including an aesthetics practice and a training academy, Kelly combines her nursing and clinical experience with strategic sales and PR skills to grow The Fertility Pharmacy into the UK’s leading IVF medication partner. Kelly is a proud aunt to an “IVF miracle” and says “I’ve seen first-hand how testing IVF can be and as well as being a constant source of support for our patients, I also want to help them make truly informed decisions.”
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Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is managing MyIVFAnswers.com and has been hosting IVFWEBINARS dedicated to patients struggling with infertility since 2020. She's highly motivated and believes that educating patients so that they can make informed decisions is essential in their IVF journey. In the past, she has been working as an International Patient Coordinator, where she was helping and directing patients on their right path. She also worked in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. In her free time, you’ll find her travelling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.
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