Patients scrambling to find critical fertility medication amidst nationwide shortage

MELVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- Women undergoing fertility treatments in the New York-area are scrambling to find progesterone in oil due to a nationwide shortage of the medication.

Progesterone in oil is essential in helping a woman's body hold a growing embryo. The injectable oil is used in patients who don't produce enough progesterone on their own or for women undergoing IVF.

Eyewitness News has reached out to several of the manufacturers of the oil about what is causing the shortage.

"We don't know when it's going to become available, and I don't think anybody really has a firm timeline," said Daniel Kenigsberg, the medical director of Long Island IVF based in Melville.

Walgreens confirmed with Eyewitness News that progesterone in oil is back ordered and the company has a very limited store-level inventory available. A spokesperson said if they are unable to fill a patient's prescription, they will contact their doctor to find an alternative form of progesterone medication which best meets the patient's needs.

Dr. Bat-Sheva Maslow with Gold Coast IVF in Woodbury is cautioning patients not to worry.

"We're still able to get progesterone in oil," she said. "We're not at the point where we're unable to get it. We've almost, for every patient who absolutely needs, it we've been able to find it either at a local pharmacy or another supplier."

Gold Coast IVF is referring many of its patients to Rockville Centre Pharmacy, which has a small supply left of the medication.

"We've done in a month, what we did in an entire year," said store owner Howard Jacobson, referring to the uptick in progesterone in oil sales in the last month.
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