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Get A Drip withdraws unproven 'fertility IV'

8 July 2019
Appeared in BioNews 1005

Wellness company Get A Drip has taken its 'fertility IV' off the market after the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said there was no evidence its treatment could improve fertility.

'There is no evidence that an IV drip of any combination of vitamins can improve a woman's fertility,' Katherine O'Brien, associate director of communications and campaigns of the BPAS, told BBC News.

Get A Drip defended the nutritional benefits of its products and said it made no claims of alleviating medical conditions but apologised for the insensitivity of its 'fertility' product and promptly withdrew it from sale.

The one-off vitamin intravenous infusion, offered at £250, claims to increase energy levels and improve the immune system. However, the only medically recommended supplements for women trying to conceive a child are folic acid and Vitamin D which, in contrast, cost significantly less and can easily be taken orally. 

BPAS first challenged the company on Twitter, asking them to 'explain the clinically proven benefits' of their fertility drip. They responded, saying: 'Get A Drip’s Fertility Drip includes a range of nutrients such as zinc, B complex, and selenium, that when supported with a healthy, balanced lifestyle, can help support normal fertility.' Such claims have led medical experts and the BPAS to accuse the company of exploiting vulnerable women by offering products that have no evidence of improving fertility. 

O'Brien said: 'In promising hope to women at a very desperate time, we are concerned that, aside from providing no real benefit, these drips may be causing real damage to women's emotional wellbeing.'

The IV drip comes as another fertility 'add-on' therapy being offered to women without proven evidence. Earlier this year the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority released a statement on adjunct treatment in IVF (see BioNews 985) and published a consensus advising IVF clinics not to charge patients for add-on treatments not proven by clinical trials (see BioNews 983). 

Many welcomed the decision to withdraw the product and hope regulatory bodies will continue to monitor private companies offering fertility 'add-ons' going forward to ensure women's fertility fears are not exploited.

A spokeswoman for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said: 'IV vitamin therapies that made medical claims needed to be licensed and tested for "safety, quality and efficacy", as well as complying with legislation on advertising.'

Get A Drip 'fertility' IV that costs £250 withdrawn from sale
BBC News |  2 July 2019
How women anxious to have a baby are being exploited for profit
The Guardian |  4 July 2019
Wellness company pulls £250 'fertility drip' from sale after outcry
The Guardian |  2 July 2019
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25 November 2019 - by Dr Katie Howe 
A health watchdog group have petitioned US regulators to take action against the manufacturers of 39 dietary supplements that claim to aid fertility...
16 September 2019 - by Rikita Patel 
The UK fertility regulator, the HFEA, has called for reforms in the way fertility add-on treatments are offered to patients, according to a consensus statement...
4 February 2019 - by Dr Kamal Ahuja and Professor Nick Macklon 
Recently, the HFEA released a statement on adjunct treatments in IVF. The regulator had provided clear notice of its publication and both its stated intentions and content were as anticipated...
21 January 2019 - by Rikita Patel 
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has published a final consensus statement advising that IVF clinics should not charge patients for add-on treatments that are not proven effective by clinical trials...
21 January 2019 - by Dr Jane Stewart 
The British Fertility Society along with a number of other professional associations and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority published a joint document on the subject of IVF 'add-ons' last week...
16 July 2018 - by Rachel Siden 
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will require fertility clinics to give patients full information about any IVF 'add-on' services being offered to them...
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