Asda to compete in the IVF drugs market

Asda is looking to expand its pharmacy offering, by offering IVF drugs at a cheaper cost than some of its main pharmaceutical rivals.

The supermarket chain says it will charge £1,171.41 for the hormones to accompany one treatment cycle, saving couples up to £820.

The retailer says the decision to sell the drugs without making a profit is part of a move to establish itself as the most competitive pharmacy in Britain. All but two NHS trusts offer free IVF treatment but it varies between one and three cycles, and is mainly available through an NHS postcode lottery.

Asda claims the eight drugs – a mixture of hormones and sprays to stimulate hormone production – can cost nearly £2,000 from independent pharmacies. Its fiercest rival, Tesco, charges almost £1,600 and Sainsbury’s says it will match the price on any private prescription.

Asda will offer the cut-price drugs in all its 170 pharmacies throughout Britain.Its pharmacist, John Evans, says: “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.”

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