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First 'money-back guarantee' IVF scheme launches in UK

11 August 2014
Appeared in BioNews 766

A fertility clinic in Manchester has launched a new scheme that will give a refund to patients who fail to have a baby after undertaking IVF treatment.

Manchester Fertility has partnered with Access Fertility, a company specialising in IVF payment planning, to offer the scheme. In order to qualify, patients must be 37 and under and use their own eggs. The scheme entitles patients to have up to 70 percent of their fees refunded if the treatment does not result in a live birth.

One cycle of IVF treatment costs around £3,000 to those unable to access NHS funding, with extra costs for additional services and the necessary drugs. However, despite the significant cost, the chances of conceiving after the first cycle of IVF is around 30 percent, depending on the age of the patient.

A 'shared risk' IVF treatment plan of the type that Manchester Fertility is offering will help reduce the financial strain and risk of non-conception placed on patients who elect for privately funded IVF.

Similar shared risk IVF treatment plans are already in place in the USA, but Manchester Fertility is the first clinic in the UK to launch such a package. Another such scheme will be rolled out at a clinic in Brighton, with schemes in London to follow.

Many UK patients choose to travel abroad to participate in a shared risk scheme. Access Fertility CEO Ash Carroll-Miller said in the last five years, 90 percent of the 600 UK patients who travelled to the USA's largest fertility clinic for treatment had enrolled under a refund deal.

Mr Carroll-Miller commented that 'We don't feel patients in the UK should have to leave the country to access this kind of offer and we're excited to be bringing our unique programme to them'.

Access Fertility and Manchester Fertility have made efforts to separate the financial and medical elements of the treatment. Access Fertility decides whether patients are able to take part in the scheme and is responsible for refunding fees, while Manchester Fertility receives payment from Access only for the treatment itself.

Manchester Fertility continues to conduct all medical assessments and treatments. It stressed that its treatment recommendations will remain the same whether or not a patient participates in the money-back scheme, and that it receives no fee or commission for referring patients to the scheme.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Couples to get 'money back guarantee' on IVF treatment
Manchester Evening News |  31 July 2014
Fertility clinic offering IVF couples money back if they don't have a baby
Daily Mirror |  1 August 2014
IVF Refund & Pre-Pay Plans
Manchester Fertility |  08/14
Refunds offered to unsuccessful IVF couples
Daily Telegraph |  2 August 2014
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