IVF-drugs-choiceQ: I listened to the Creating a Family show on buying fertility drugs cheaper.  If I think I can save money using a specific drug can I request that my infertility clinic prescribe that drug or does each infertility doctor have their own drug regime that they want to use?  How much say does the infertility patient have in the brand of infertility drug that the RE [reproductive endocrinologist] will prescribe?

A:  Evelina Weidman Sterling, a public health educator and researcher specializing in reproductive and women’s health issues, answers: “I am a big supporter of patient-clinician partnerships meaning that all patients should be active participants in all aspects of their healthcare and medical decision-making processes.   Patients are each very unique biological, social, economic, ethnic, and spiritual beings.  So a team approach will provide help with achieving the best individual patient outcome.  This is even more so with fertility care since there is no “one size fits all approach,” and it is just as much an art as a science.  “Good” medical decisions, especially regarding medications and treatments, require patient involvement because they must reflect patient preferences and values.  To encourage greater patient involvement in decision-making, clinicians should provide relevant information, allow patients time to digest and respond to the information, listen to questions and concerns, and solicit patient opinion before any medications are selected or a final treatment plan is agreed upon.”

Image credit: Erin Stevenson O’Connor