01 June 2010
ByAppeared in BioNews 560
In response to claims that assisted reproductive technology (ART) suffers from a lack of oversight, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has said that: 'ART is already one of the most regulated medical procedures in the United States'.
However, in the report - entitled 'Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technology' - the ASRM points to two areas of potential improvement. The first focuses on the fact that there is a significant lack of insurance coverage for ART treatments in the US. Insuring such medical procedures would help 'physicians and patients make decisions that are most medically appropriate'.
The report also states that additional legal enforcements and punishments could be developed to cover more breaches of professional guidelines. This would ensure an improvement in the regulation of ART. Further topics of discussion in the report include state, federal and professional self- regulation.
ART is already state regulated with each state exercising its own regulatory system administered by a medical licensing board or other state agency. For example state law defines grounds for misconduct.
The existence of the Centres for Disease, Control and Prevention (CDC) ensures that ART is regulated at the federal level. Federal legislation - the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act (FCSRCA) - facilitates such regulation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures physicians working in reproductive medicine can prescribe only FDA-approved medications.
Finally, self-regulation of ART is underpinned by the fact that laboratory accreditation, physician board certification and professional guidance, are all in place.