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Treating Infertility in More People

By Jim Daniels, CEO, CortControl LLC

For years, a major barrier for couples seeking treatment for infertility has been—purely and simply—cost. As one recent University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) study revealed, those couples seeking the popular treatment, in vitro fertilization (IVF), have an average out-of-pocket expense of $19,234. And, in the U.S., this comes to an average of 44% of the annual disposable income for a couple seeking treatment. “For many patients,” UCSF infertility specialist James F. Smith, MD, has noted, “the high costs … represent a significant burden on household finances and almost certainly have a major role in fertility treatment decision making.”  

The Medical Food Option

Recent developments in areas such as medical foods, however, may provide a valuable new option for doctors to offer their patients, at least as the solid first step in a comprehensive infertility treatment program. In the process, these foods might also offer pharmaceutical companies focused on infertility treatments new opportunities to expand both their product portfolios and the total available market they serve. And, considering both the “significant” cost burden of traditional treatments for many couples and the opportunity to greatly expand the total treatment market, the right medical food is certainly an option more doctors and pharmaceutical companies might want to investigate.

Why Medical Foods?

While there is still some skepticism about medical foods, a growing body of evidence suggests that, as well as being far less costly than traditional fertility drugs and treatments, they may also be—in certain cases—quite effective. At CortControl, for example, we are rolling out a medical food called Glutrasol IF. Currently, we’re testing it on humans  so we don’t yet have conclusive evidence. But, for more than 20 years, veterinarians have prescribed many of its key compounds to treat diseases and conditions in mammals, and the success of these treatments is both well documented and quite dramatic. In some cases, for example, fertility in cattle increased by more than 70%.  

Why are we confident that Glutrasol IF will also make a difference with humans? 

The answer is in the science. All mammals, humans included, have essentially the same cortisol production mechanism, and, when too much cortisol is produced, in certain cases the chances of becoming infertile can increase. Designed to control high production levels of cortisol, Glutrasol IF—much like the compounds veterinarians have prescribed to cattle for years to increase fertility—should (and we believe will) have a similar effect on humans.  

Worth a Close Look

We are not claiming that medical foods such as Glutrasol IF are silver bullets. We are saying, however, that they do offer promise in addressing some kinds of infertility for a relatively low cost AND that they are worth considering as part of a comprehensive infertility treatment strategy—one that will ultimately enable more people to take advantage of infertility treatments.

If you would like to learn more about the properties in Glutrasol IF, the latest on the study underway, CortControl in particular, or medical foods in general, please visit our site, www.cortcontrol.com, or contact me at jim@cortcontrol.com

 

Laura CoxComment