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New fees boost single-embryo transfer

17 May 2010

By Dr Gabrielle Samuel

Appeared in BioNews 558

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announced last week that it will change the way it charges clinics for IVF following a single embryo transfer.

As of October 2010, clinics will pay the HFEA £104.50 for a patient's initial treatment cycle using single embryo transfer. In the event this first cycle is unsuccessful, each additional frozen embryo transfer will not be charged.

At the moment, clinics have to pay the HFEA £104.50 for each IVF cycle they carry out. Because many clinics pass this fee onto patients, the HFEA says that this can influence patients to have multiple embryos transferred in a single cycle to cut costs. This, in turn, can increase the risk of multiple pregnancy.

The Chair of the HFEA said: 'We want to send a positive message to patients and clinics that we are doing everything in our power to promote low risk single embryo transfer fertility treatment'.

'Redefining the HFEA fee demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we remove obstacles that discourage patients from choosing single embryo transfer for their treatment'.

Dr Kamal Ahuja, Scientific and Managing Director at the London Women's Clinic said: 'I would welcome the latest initiative from the HFEA to stimulate the acceptance of elective single embryo transfer (eSET) by patients and practitioners'.

'Practitioners like us would need to deploy this small but useful HFEA gesture to improve the uptake of eSET in UK licensed centres'

He added: 'Patients would see this as a fair demonstration of the regulators faith in the policies it champions'.

The HFEA is the independent regulator for IVF treatment and embryo research.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

18 April 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor 
The authors of a new Canadian study have recommended a mandatory policy of single embryo transfer in an aim to reduce health complications arising from multiple births....
24 January 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman 
An international study has suggested elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) during IVF may improve chances of delivering a healthy baby compared to double-embryo transfer (DET), although women receiving DET are more likely to become pregnant in the first place....
11 October 2010 - by Ben Jones 
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is considering tightening its guidelines on embryo implantation with the possibility that, in future, only single embryo transfers (SET) may be recommended....
16 August 2010 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has updated its position on the way clinics should be charged for performing IVF with a single embryo transfer (SET)...

04 May 2010 - by Seil Collins 
The number of reported mistakes at IVF centres in England and Wales has doubled over one year, rising from 182 in 2007/08 to 334 in 2008/09. Incidents range from technical failures to serious mix-ups. Cases where embryos have been lost, implanted into the wrong patient, or fertilised with the wrong sperm have all been reported....
14 March 2010 - by Gozde Zorlu 
The UK's fertility industry regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has published new data on the success rates of fertility clinics across the country, enabling patients to find out the likely result of their treatment....
22 February 2010 - by Dr Malcolm Smith 
Two recent Bionews commentaries have considered the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) review of the case-case approach to licensing PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) for late-onset disorders and the use of pre-implantation tissue-typing (PITT) for the creation of 'saviour siblings'. This article considers further, some of the underlying reasons why the HFEA approach to case-by-case licensing of PITT is justified....

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