NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Fertility Preservation (the AFP), a 501c3 charitable organization focused on the issue of fertility preservation for cancer patients, has launched an innovative online tool for oncology professionals and patients called FERTILITY SCOUT™. The new tool – made possible by an unrestricted grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Ferring) and in partnership with Remedy Health Media (Remedy) – will expedite and automate the process of connecting oncology patients for fertility consultations and services before they start their cancer treatment. This is particularly important as cancer survival rates increase and many patients are still in the midst of family-building when receiving a cancer diagnosis; these patients need to consider how they might build or expand their family post-treatment.
"We understand that oncology professionals are stretched thin and may not be aware of recent advances in fertility preservation options," said AFP Founding Board Member Dr. Glenn Schattman. "We created this tool to help them find sperm banks and reproductive specialists so that they could focus on their primary job – treating patients with cancer. At the same time, we know that patients are interested in this information and need to be referred quickly if they want to safeguard their future parenthood options."
Statistics indicate that despite the development of oncology guidelines on fertility preservation and major advances in reproductive technology over the past decade, only about half of newly diagnosed patients speak with their oncologist about fertility. Two studies suggest that less than 60 percent of oncologists discuss fertility with cancer patients of childbearing age and less than 40 percent of treating physicians refer patients interested in fertility preservation to reproductive specialists. As a result, the scheduling of fertility preservation services such as sperm, egg or embryo banking, may be overlooked.
"Now more than ever, patients have the opportunity to plan for life after treatment, including how they might address future fertility," said Aaron Graff, President & COO, Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., founding sponsor of the AFP. "We are proud to support the AFP in this initiative. FERTILITY SCOUT™ brings oncology professionals, patients and fertility providers together, quickly and seamlessly, so important discussions about fertility can happen prior to cancer treatment."
About Fertility Scout™
This innovative, free online tool works across a variety of platforms from desktops to laptops to mobile devices. The tool uses geo-location technology to allow patients or healthcare providers to quickly find fertility preservation service providers in their area. Providers can be refined based on the specific services sought, ranging from standard options such as embryo freezing or sperm banking to more specialized options such as ovarian or testicular tissue freezing. The tool also contains a HIPAA-compliant, secure referral portal, which allows patient information to be viewed by the selected clinic or sperm bank. Referral requests are managed by a designated Fertility Preservation Contact who will contact the patient within 48 hours to schedule an expedited appointment. Oncology professionals can also create a private account which will allow them to store and document their fertility referrals and to download or print individual referrals for patient files.
The FERTILITY SCOUT™ tool contains hundreds of fertility preservation service providers nationwide, and it is now available free of charge to patients and oncology professionals. If you have any questions about FERTILITY SCOUT™, please contact the AFP's Executive Director, Joyce Reinecke, at [email protected].
About Alliance for Fertility Preservation
The Alliance for Fertility Preservation was formed to help facilitate a dialogue between clinicians and patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. about the potential loss of fertility due to cancer treatment and the options for fertility preservation. Its mission is to educate and empower patients diagnosed with cancer to make the best decisions regarding fertility preservation prior to treatment and infertility management after treatment. The Alliance also endeavors to promote dialogue between patients and clinicians in an effort to optimize expectations and care. For more information, visit http://www.fertilitypreservationalliance.org or call 415-535-6088.
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. has a long-established commitment to the fertility preservation community. Ferring provided the initial $1M grant to The AFP in 2012. In addition, Ferring has developed the Heart Beat program to provide select fertility medications at no cost to patients pursuing fertility preservation services prior to cancer treatment.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a subsidiary of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a privately owned, international pharmaceutical company. Ferring Pharmaceuticals specializes in the research, development and commercialization of compounds in general and pediatric endocrinology, gastroenterology, infertility, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopaedics, and urology. For more information, call 1-888-FERRING (1-888-337-7464); visit www.FerringUSA.com.
About Remedy Health Media
Remedy Health Media (Remedy) is a leading health and wellness company that empowers millions of patients and caregivers to take control and manage their conditions to live healthier and more fulfilled lives. Remedy creates inspiring and emotional stories from real people, publishes authoritative content from real experts and provides resourceful and engaging tools to generate results. Remedy strives to improve consumer health engagement and outcomes through the development of authentic communities of health information seekers who can interact and learn from relatable physician, pharmacist, public health and patient experts. Remedy currently helps over 200 million health consumers annually through various digital, mobile and point of care information products and technologies. To learn more about Remedy, please visit www.RemedyHealthMedia.com.
© 2015 Ferring B.V. 10/15 RH/1949/2015/US
SOURCE Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.