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US sperm bank has 'frequent donor' sale

30 March 2009
Appeared in BioNews 501

One of the United States' oldest sperm banks, Xytex International, has reduced prices on many samples from its large inventory as a result of the current economic situation. The company, founded in 1975 in Augusta, has cut prices in the face of the financial downturn and as a means to reduce its, allegedly, substantial sperm stockpile. A spokesperson for the company stated that, though demand was still high, 'we're all feeling the effects of the economy and, especially for families seeking reproductive options, every dollar counts'.

The sale sees prices reduced on 'select donor' sperm. 'Select donors', in contrast to 'standard donors', are those from whom the company has received a greater than usual volume of sperm. In clarifying the nature of these donors, the spokesperson stated that 'select donors' are those from whom the company has 'many, many vials'. The company was anxious to emphasise that the sperm was of the same quality as the company's standard sperm. In the company's words: 'select donors haven't reached the end of their shelf-life; they're just overproduced'.

In an interview with AFP another spokesperson stated that many 'select donors' have been 'able to stop in several times a week' and this, in part, accounted for the excess inventory the company is attempting to sell on. The clearance sees prices cut to between $135 and 235 from the usual $385-585 range.

The firm has also reduced prices on sperm for use in assisted reproduction procedures, such as IVF and ICSI. Here the new price tags range from $290 to 390. The company stated that they were able to offer lower prices for sperm destined for assisted reproduction as only a small number of high quality sperm would be required and thus the overall quality demanded of the sample is lower (though all of the usual donor screening tests are applied to all donors).

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