Three Steps to Dealing with Infertility in New York City

New York City is a big place with fast-movers, quick-talkers, and a lot of movement. And when it comes to an issue as personal as infertility, sometimes we need someone to slow the pace and have our hands held ever-so-slightly as we make our way through the process. So, here’s our quick guide to dealing with infertility in a city that moves probably way too fast.

  1. Step one: Research. It may seem like an obvious first step in dealing with infertility, but to many, it’s not. You’ll want to do some of your own research to find out why you’re not able to conceive. Get your computer out, talk to fertility experts, etc.
  2. Step two: Seek advice on where to get the best treatment in New York City. You’d be surprised if you open up about the topic how many friends of friends you may know who have dealt with infertility and can share advice. Having someone you know who is familiar with the New York infertility pharmacies and doctors will help you a lot.
  3. Step three: Prepare yourself. There’s always risks associated with infertility treatment and no matter what happens at the end of the tunnel, you should be ready to embrace the results at the of your fertility journey.
  4. Bonus Step: Fertility problems can be one the most difficult medical challenges on an emotional level. Keeping a positive attitude is helpful in getting through the emotional challenges of infertility. Some some that means stepping outside the city to get some fresh air and a more zen state of mind.

New York has dozens of qualified fertility clinics, with some being the best fertility clinics in the world. That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a treatment that works, but there is one thing certain every fertility treatments are a major investment financially and emotionally. Always remember that you can only do so much, so prepare yourself emotionally for any chance of unsuccessful fertility treatments that may be coming your way. For some, that means knowing in advance how much you are willing to invest in your fertility journey, and what kinds of treatments you’re willing to do.

Thanks to advances in science we have created a solution to every family out there who can’t have their own family; there’s meditation, In Vitro, surrogacy, and adoption. Each of those processes could be tedious and require extreme patience. If you chose the IVF route, and you’re lucky if on your first treatment, everything goes perfectly. But for some, there are health risks and even more unsuccessful treatments sorting out to adoption.

Don’t rely solely on fertility treatments — you also have to do your part by keeping a good physical and emotional health. Patients who have generally good health and take care of themselves before and after their treatment are more likely to succeed in the treatment. And, obviously, those who don’t take care of their bodies before and after the treatments can’t expect the same results.

A final tip: Reach out and seek support from fertility support groups like:

  • Women’s Infertility Support Group
    Surviving and Thriving with Infertility
    RESOLVE Fertility/ART support group
    Mind/Body for Infertility

Being a part of these kinds of groups will help you along the way of accepting and understanding and maybe this time start figuring out how to live a healthy life, they are the ones who will pave you the way of understanding that there maybe other good healthy options other than trying out the treatment 27 times. It doesn’t hurt to talk about what you are going through to the people who are also going through the same thing.

How Specialty Pharmacy Services in NY Are Changing

Specialty Pharmacies focus on specialty and rare medications that treat infertility, Chrons disease, HIV, HEP C, and other illnesses. In 2016, pharmacies dispensed about $115 billion in specialty drugs, according to industry expert Adam Fein, PhD, President of Pembroke Consulting, Inc. and CEO of the Drug Channels Institute, a blog that provides analysis of pharmaceutical economics and distribution trends.

And while the specialty pharmacy industry is rising, with some estimates targeted to $240 by the end of 2017, the industry is shrinking, with fewer and fewer specialty pharmacies to chose from outside of the big box chains.

“In New York especially, we’re seeing many specialty pharmacies in NYC disappear,” says owner Ron DelGaudio. “With fewer savings programs from the pharma companies, it’s harder to compete with the big box chains.” In addition, some drug manufacturers are launching specialty drugs with narrow distribution networks, often to fewer than 25 pharmacies. Those pharmacies are usually larger ones, making it increasingly difficult for low-cost pharmacies to compete.

In the past, specialty pharmacies in NY could apply for “loyalty” programs from companies like Merck and Phizer. Now those cost-savings opportunities are also fewer and further between.

Local pharmacies are having to invest more time and money in studying the industry, healthcare trends, pharmaceutical trends, and trends in illnesses, to navigate which medications are most important for to keep on the shelves and reduce operational costs like relocating outside of New York City to the Brooklyn and Bronx areas.

“Over the next years you’ll find fewer fertility pharmacies in NYC,” says DelGaudio. “The box chains will stay, but for special savings, customers will have to look for pharmacies outside of the city.” The other option is mail and central-fill pharmacies, which today account for upwards of 70% of specialty medication fulfillment. That number is increasing yearly. “The difficult thing is that with many of these complex specialty medications, customer care is extremely important — you want to make sure you have a pharmacist who makes sure the drug works alongside your other medications, that you’re storing and handling it correctly, that you’re injecting it correctly — these are services a mail pharmacy will find more difficult to provide,” says Ronda Lopez, a pharmacist at Kings.

Our main focuses are continuing to improve patient care and keep down healthcare costs. Second to that, we’re constantly embracing and re-embracing the shifts in the market. For those of us in the industry we know that specialty drugs are usually all of the three H’s: High Cost, High Complexity, High Touch. We joke that staying afloat in the pharmacy industry requires the same – High Cost, High Complexity, and High Touch.

Kings Pharmacy supports Hemophilia Walk in Riverside Park – June 3, 2017

For years Kings Pharmacy has been a proud supporter of the New York City Hemophilia Walk, one of the largest Hemophilia Walks in the country!

We want to thank the New York City Hemophilia Chapter and the National Hemophilia Foundation for helping people affected by bleeding disorders in the New York City area.

Hemophilia Walk

We’re proud to be a sponsor!

The Kings Pharmacy team at the finish line!

 

Ron DelGaudio

Our owner, Ron DelGaudio proudly walking in NY’s Hemophilia Walk.

Are Male’s Lack of Knowlege Leading to Higher Infertility Rates?

infertility amongst men

Male infertility is on the rise, and doctors may finally have a first step at combatting it. A new study suggests that it’s the men’s lack of information (or, you could call it ignorance) that may be the culprit here. While women are researching the causes of infertiliy from the first signs of infertility, men have taken a back seat to self-education.

It’s widely known that half of infertile couples are due to male infertility, yet most men have little knowledge of the risk factors that contribute to the inability to conceive naturally.

In a study published in the November issue of the journal Human Reproduction, men could identify only about 50% of the potential risks and health conditions that could significantly affect their sperm count and fertility.

The Journal of Human Reproduction’s survey studied more than 700 Canadian men aged 18 to 50 with a range of ethnic backgrounds, income, and education, and asked them to identify factors associated with male infertility. Most of the men were able to identify the more common or well-known infertility risk factors such as cancer, smoking, and steroid use, but very few were able to identify lesser-known causes like obesity, frequent bicycling, and using portable computers on their lap.

According to Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz, a professor and researcher of psychiatry at McGill University and the Jewish General Hospital, “Men tend to ask fewer questions about their health when they go to the doctor.”

So the solution? Besides the obvious solution of encouraging men to do their own online research, men should look up male education programs, online groups geared towards male infertility, and group meetups that allow men to share their experiences together, and utilize their time with their doctors to inquire about infertility risk factors.

What are good questions to ask during an IVF consult?

For those experiencing infertility for the first time, the initial consult with the doctor can be scary and overwhelming! What do you ask, how many questions should you ask, and how do you even know where to start?! The initial consultation is a great opportunity to learn as much as you can about both infertility in general, and your specific case in a short time, and you’ll want to take advantage of it.

If you are seeing a good doctor (which, hopefully you are as fertility is not something to skimp on), he or she should guide you through the process and be prepared with the answers to the questions you should be asking, without you having to ask them. Sometimes letting the doctor provide a lot of the initial information in a systematic way can be very helpful and make it easier to understand.

If you have reached the point of having an IVF consult, you have likely have eliminated most, if not all, other options of conceiving naturally, so a list of questions might have already started brewing in your mind. When you sit down to discuss this with your IVF doctor, its important that you bring every one of your thoughts, concerns, and questions to the table to ensure that your clinic is the right one for you.

A great place to start before going into your initial fertility consultation appointment, is to check as many online resources as possible to gain as much knowledge on your own as you can. A few trusted fertility resources include: SART, and Resolve.org.

Next, the questions. Here is a list that make a great starting point for your fertility consultation:

Clinic Procedural Questions:

  • Do they offer a shared risk program? (Some clinics offer a flat rate, 3 fresh, 3 frozen cycles package)
  • What is their policy on embryo transfers? 1 or 2? (Some people feel that clinics that are willing to transfer more than 2 are in it more for the positive ratings of pregnancy then the health and wellness of baby and mom. In the 20’s-30’s age bracket 2 transfers is the norm, while in the 40’s age bracket, 3 transfers is acceptable.)
  • What does a cycle look like with their clinic? What type of timeline do they use, from start to finish?
  • Who would you be working with? The nurse or the doctor? (You can also request to meet this nurse or any other person who will be directly supporting you in your fertility journey.)
  • Is the clinic open for retrievals and transfers on weekends?
Clinic Success Questions:
  • Request information about the clinic’s past success rates: ask for the number of cycles they have done and their successes/failures.
  • What is the clinics pregnancy success rate with people in your age bracket with similar infertility issues?
  • How often does the clinic see OHSS cases (hyperstimulation – this typically this happens when the doctor overstimulates – we’re looking for low numbers here).
Personal Success Questions:
  • Based on your medical history, what specific challenges do they foresee?
  • Given your medical history, what percentage of success rate do they foresee for you to get pregnant with one fresh cycle?
  • Clinics have a “base” medical IVF standard they use when starting patients on a med program. One thing you will want to know is based on your medical and fertility history, how will they adjust the medications specifically for you? (For example, if you have low progesterone, your doctor might determine you’d be at an advantage to start you higher than they typically do.)
  • What kinds of fertility medications do they recommend for your particular kind of infertility, which are the cheapest fertility meds, which are the most trusted fertility medications, and which meds have they personally seen the most success with, for similar cases as yours?

 

Ask as many follow-up questions as you need to to feel comfortable, and don’t leave with any left hanging. Make sure you feel comfortable with the answers that you are given. If they start using medical jargon, abbreviations, or fertility medication or procedure terms you’re not familiar with, stop them to ask them what certain medications or abbreviations mean. Your goal is to walk out of this appointment knowing that you understand the journey ahead of you, and have a firm understanding of what that specific fertility clinic or doctor can do for you and your specific case.

With a huge influx of facts and figures thrown at you, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when you leave. It’s okay to take time to decompress. Use your support units, partner, trusted friends or family members. If you still have questions, call the clinic back. And remember that you are a customer, paying them to provide a service, so you have absolutely every right to feel comfortable, satisfied, and safe during the entire fertility process.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): The Five Most Important Things to Know

If you’re reading this article you likely already know that Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is when a woman’s estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are out of balance. This results in growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries), which cause problems with a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance. Now, for some thing you might not already know about PCOS:

  1. Women with PCOS may experience many things including gaining weight easier, have more hair growth, mood swings, irregular periods, or have difficulty getting pregnant.
  2. Diet and exercise may not be enough to keep you healthy. Speak with your doctor about the necessity of specialty medications to help manage your PCOS.
  3. The cysts in your ovaries may not be actual cysts, but may be eggs that were unable to grow enough to reach ovulation.
  4. There is not 1 test to diagnose PCOS. Usually, your physician will order an ultrasound and/or do blood work to determine if you actually have PCOS. For this reason, it is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms stated earlier so that you can be diagnosed early.
  5. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women, however it can be treated.

Kings Pharmacy located in Brooklyn, NY has the lowest possible prices for infertility medications. We are able to help women in many different states to get their medications quickly and our friendly staff is always available to help answer any of your pharmaceutical questions. Call 1-800-795-4647 today for more information!

What are specialty pharmacies?

 

Specialty pharmacies, like Kings, are pharmacies that cater to special disease states, like Hemophilia, Hepatitis C, and Infertility. There are two kinds of specialty pharmacies: 1. those who carry only specialty medications and 2. those who carry specialty medications and also compound their own.

Although many organizations have different standards for what qualifies a drug as being a “specialty medication”, generally, a specialty pharmaceutical drug may have some or all of the following key characteristics:

  • Is used for the treatment of complex, chronic, and/or rare conditions
  • Has a high cost, often exceeding $10,000 annually
  • Not widely available. (ie, only availability through exclusive, restricted, or limited distribution)
  • Requires special storage, handling, and/or administration requirements (some medications may need to be stored at specific temperatures and/or administered through an IV or other injection technique.)
  • May require ongoing monitoring for safety and/or efficacy (specifically drugs like hep c, which require frequent monitoring of the liver)
  • May require special approval to be ordered – not available through a traditional MD. It may also require a “prior authorization,” (a PA) by your insurance company, which means your insurance company needs to review why a drug has been prescribed before agreeing to pay for it. If you don’t get prior authorization, the medication may cost you more, or it may not be covered at all.

 

What are the most common Specialty Medications prescribed for?

At Kings, we carry a variety of specialty medications. Those include, Cardiovascular drugs, Custom Compounded Medications, Medications for Crohn’s Disease, Fertility or Infertility meds, Hemophilia, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, IVIG Therapy, Oncology, Rheumatology, Transplant medications, and more.

specialty drugs ny

Where do I get specialty drugs?

Depending on which state you live in, your state may have certain requirements about which pharmacies you are able to use. Many pharmacies are able to ship drugs nationwide with same-day or next-day shipping. If you live in a smaller or more rural town, often times you can buy medication from a larger pharmacy and save money on your medications. Our New York based pharmacy, for example, services the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

  • Your doctor can send a prescription electronically to:
    • Kings Pharmacy
      Address: 357 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11238
      Phone: 718-230-3535
      Fax: 718-230-0596
  • Order through your regular retail pharmacy. Not all pharmacies fill prescriptions for specialty drugs, so check first.
  • Or, you can refill or transfer a prescription here.

Have pharmacy questions?

Send your questions to info@kingsrx.com and we’ll answer as best we can!

Dried Plums May Save Your Bones

pharmacy solution bone density plums

A recent small study involving older women with low bone density had the women eat 1.75 oz. or 3.5 oz. of prunes per day for six months as well as take vitamin D and calcium.

The control group had the supplements but no prunes. Participants in both the prune groups had no bone loss and a decrease in certain blood markers indicating a slowing of bone breakdown.

The “no prune” group experienced a small amount of bone loss.

The bottom line: Prunes or “dried plums”, which are rich in vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and boron, may in fact, save you from loss of bone density. Here’s to your new favorite fruit!

3 Things to Know Before Picking a Fertility Doctor

nyc-couple-talking-to-a-fertility-doctor

1. There are many fertility clinics in New York but not all of them are right for you. It is very important to have a connection with your doctor. You want to feel like you are being cared for in a situation that may be very difficult. Also, do not only look at a clinic’s success rate; a clinic may have a high success rate because they only take “easy” cases. Always find a doctor who tailors to your particular situation.

 

2. Treatment can become very expensive so it is important to see if your insurance covers any part of the treatment. Certain clinics have different payment plans and offers. Always talk to the clinic staff to see their payment options.

 

3. Do not be embarrassed or feel as if you are going through this situation alone. There are many men and women in the US who are going through exactly what you are right now. Find a fertility clinic that also has a support group to help you during this process.

 

In addition to choosing the right fertility doctor, it is important to choose the right pharmacy to fill your medications. Kings Pharmacy specializes in many different conditions including infertility. We work closely with all patients to provide their medications quickly and are able to provide certain discounts. The friendly staff at Kings Pharmacy also care for you and are able to deliver your medications to your home to uphold your privacy.


Call Kings Pharmacy at 
718-230-3535 to find out more information!

Written by Kings Pharmacy resident, Jillian Christy.

How to Deal With the Overwhelm of Infertility

Infertility can be one of the most overwhelming obstacles that a couple ever experiences together, and often comes with physical, mental, and emotional shifts for both the men and women.

Infertility can have severe impacts on psychological wellbeing.

The long term inability to conceive a child can evoke significant feelings of loss, depression, and anxiety. Coping with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainties that childlessness creates can create great emotional upheaval for most couples.

As our experts from Brooklyn, New York share, almost everyone has emotional ups and downs as they travel through their fertility journey and pursue infertility treatment. It’s perfectly normal, and there are solutions.

What should I do if I’m feeling significantly affected by infertility?

Feeling happy, sad, and overwhelmed are perfectly normal responses. However, if you experience any of the following indications over a lengthy period of time, you can advantage a great deal from working with a mental health professional:

  • Lowering the interest in daily activities
  • Depression that doesn’t lift
  • Strained interpersonal relationships with partner, family and friends or coworkers)
  • Difficulty thinking of anything other than your infertility
  • High levels of anxiety.
  • Reduced ability to complete tasks
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Change in your sleep patterns like: difficulty falling asleep, early morning awakening, napping more than usual.
  • Change in your appetite or weight changes (no matter if decrease or increase of body mass)
  • Usage of drugs or alcohol is getting more and more increased
  • Thoughts about death or suicide
  • Social isolation
  • Persistent emotional changes from bitterness to anger

In addition, there are certain points throughout the process of infertility treatment when discussion with a mental health expert of various decisions and consideration of your feelings about these options can help facilitate explanation of your opinion and help with your choice. For example, consultation with a mental health expert will be useful to you and your family in case you are:

  • At a treatment crossroad
  • Deciding between alternative treatment opportunities
  • Discovering other family building options
  • Considering third party assistance (gamete donation, surrogacy)
  • Hard communication and/or ideas about what direction to take.

How can psychological treatment help me/us cope with infertility?

A good professional therapist will be able help you sort out feelings, reinforced already present surviving abilities and develop new ones, and interconnect with others more openly. For many, the life crisis of infertility eventually proves to be a chance for improving personal growth.

Mental health professionals with experience in infertility treatment can help a lot. Their main aim is to help couples to learn how to cope with the physical and emotional changes related to the infertility, as well as with the medical conducts that can be hurting and intrusive.

A lot of people consider, the focus on deal with a partner’s reaction. For others, it may be on how to choose the right medications or how to begin exploring other family building possibilities. For still others, it may be on how to control stress, anxiety, or depression.

By educating patients problem-solving plans in an understanding environment, mental health specialists help people work through their angst, fear, so that they can find resolution of their emotional effects of infertility.

What qualities should I look for in a mental health professional experienced in working with infertility?

First and foremost, make sure you choose a professional who is familiar with the emotional effects of infertility. It is recommended that they have:

  • Gradation in a mental health profession
  • A license and/or national recordkeeping
  • Scientific training focused on the emotional aspects of infertility
  • Experience in the medical and emotional aspects of reproductive treatment

And lastly, chose someone with whom you’re comfortable, is a good listener, and makes you feel safe.

How can I find a mental health professional in Brooklyn or New York City experienced in working with infertility?

There are several resources available to those in New York and nationally, including:

PsychologyToday.com
Solace For Mothers
Resolve
Therapy Tribe