Walgreens Joins with Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. to Offer Products and Resources to Women Facing Fertility Complications from Cancer Treatment

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Ovarian Cancer Month and Gynecologic Cancer Month, both taking place in September, Walgreens and Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced a collaboration to provide free access to certain fertility medications and educational resources as part of Ferring's h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program.  The program is a patient assistance initiative funded by Ferring and provided as a public service to eligible women of reproductive age who have received a new cancer diagnosis and wish to undergo fertility preservation prior to the start of their cancer treatment.

The h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program will provide certain fertility medications to eligible patients enrolled in the program.  It will also provide educational resources through Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, such as access to highly specialized nurses, informational guides detailing how cancer treatment affects fertility, multimedia materials outlining potential fertility options patients may wish to discuss with their physician, and specialized modules to teach injection training.

Despite the fact that more than 75 percent of women age 35 or younger who are childless at cancer diagnosis desire children in the future,[i]  many do not recall ever having a discussion on the potential impact that their cancer treatment may have on their future fertility.[ii]  Of those patients who do receive information regarding their fertility preservation options, many cite financial reasons for electing not to undergo treatment.[iii], [iv]

The h.e.a.r.t. BEAT program is designed to provide quick access to fertility preservation to ensure that patients do not lose valuable time in starting necessary cancer treatments. Certain restrictions may apply.  Federal healthcare program beneficiaries, including but not limited to State Medicaid and State Medicaid managed care recipients, as well as residents of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Arkansas are ineligible for the program. For more information or to sign up for the program, eligible patients and healthcare providers can call 888-347-3415 or visit www.heartbeatprogram.com

About Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology and endocrinology. Ferring has operating subsidiaries in over 45 countries. To learn more about Ferring or our products please visit www.ferring.com.

[i] Schover LR, Rybicki LA, Martin BA, Bringelsen KA. Having children after cancer: a pilot survey of survivors' attitudes and experiences. Cancer. 1999;86(4):697-709.

[ii] Lee SJ, Schover LR, Patridge AH, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations on fertility preservation in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2006; 24(3): 2917-2931.

[iii] Kim J, Oktay K, Gracia C, Lee S, Morse C, Mersereau JE.Which patients pursue fertility preservation treatments? A multicenter analysis of the predictors of fertility preservation in women with breast cancer. Fertil Steril. 2012 Mar;97(3):671-6. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

[iv] Letourneau J et al. Pretreatment fertility counseling and fertility preservation improve quality of life in reproductive age women with cancer. Cancer. 2012 Mar;118(6):1710-1717.

SOURCE Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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