Wednesday , April 14 2021

Private IVF clinics urged to put an end to the cost of downloading expensive add-ons in society

IVF clinics have yielded profits before the patient's treatment by charging customers for costly additions that do not have proven efficacy according to a draft statement by fertility experts, doctors and industry regulators.

The unanimity clause, approved by the 11 organizations, including the Human Fertilizer and Embryology Authority (HFEA), expresses concern about how often patients are charged for accessories that do not increase the chances of pregnancy.

A statement labeled as confidential (pdf) but published by the HFEA on its website blames "intensive competitive" private IVF markets for a practice that threatens to undermine patient confidence.

HEFA agreed in July to postpone the payment of extra fees for practical experiments.

The draft agrees, moreover, that "at present there is no convincing evidence that some of the supplementary care offered in fertility treatment increases the potential for pregnancy or the birth of a woman".

It adds, "Patients deserve a consistent, evidence-based treatment, and if this fails, it poses a significant risk to the patient's confidence and clinical innovation itself."

The signatories of this opinion are the Obstetricians and the Royal College of Gynecologists and the group specialized in infertility infertility.

It requires "cultural change" among IVF clinics and urges them to use "open and honest debate on addictive medicines".

It also suggests that clinics are too willing to meet costly additions to patient requests despite the lack of evidence of their effectiveness. "Trainees have a duty to treat patients who have to put pressure on patients and commercial interests in their best practices," he says.

The add-ons include genetic tests, imaging of embryonic timeouts, drug treatments that inhibit the mother's immune system and techniques such as assisted breeding, which involves the coating of acid, laser or other tools from which the embryo must break before it can implant into the uterus.

Pairs who often despair of the birth of a child can be convinced of the effectiveness of such actions despite the lack of evidence, reading them online, states the statement.

It says: "This combination of patient expectations, market forces, and career-to-patient re-orientation in the online information era would appear to lead to supply and demand for additives."

The study of IVF patients that YouGov has made to HFEA and will be published later this month shows that many have not been prepared for IVF treatment costs in general. It found that 62 percent of those in private clinics reported having received more than expected, compared to 23 percent of the NHS clinic.

But 77% of those who opted for further treatment were satisfied with how open and transparent the costs were.

A fertility network for people experiencing fertility problems and one of the signatories of the document said it could not comment on the finalization of the document.

The risk report presented to HEFA by the government warned that a "more courageous strategic attitude towards the add-ons of the regulatory authority could lead to claims that adversely affect the business model of some clinics".

The HFEA spokesman confirmed that the consensus clause had been published incorrectly before it was signed. He said he could not discuss content before it was agreed.

Professor Geeta Nargund, St George's senior consultant at the London hospital, and Medical Director for Luomuvesi, said that the HFEA should do more to stop the plugin downloading practice.

"We need a national registry containing information on drugs and doses for women in the early stages of IVF treatment and pregnancy, as well as all the additives used in the laboratory," he said.

"Some IVF additives, such as the use of intravenous immunological drugs, have no proven benefits, may be expensive and may pose a health risk to women and babies.

"We therefore need a national register to monitor the safety and potential impact of the use of additives both in the short and long term."

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