Welcome to November's edition of the HFEA e-update.
In this month's issue we share news of the Authority's decision to remove a licence condition relating to multiple births from IVF clinic licences from 1 January 2014.
Thank you for reading this month's edition.
Peter Thompson, Chief Executive, HFEA.
Removal of the multiple births licence condition
At our recent Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority meeting, we took the decision to remove a condition (T123) that relates to our multiple births policy from all IVF clinics' licences, effective from 1 January 2014. The decision came after two years of legal challenge from two London clinics arguing against the licence condition, which expects all clinics to reduce their multiple live birth rate to no more than 10 percent of all live births.
It is vitally important not to read this move as a lack of commitment on our part to reducing the incidence of multiple births following IVF. The policy remains and we are fully committed to it.
The policy is working, largely because of the collaborative approach we have taken: working closely with professionals in the IVF field, patient groups, paediatricians and commissioners to build consensus. The sector has risen to the challenge admirably, reducing the overall multiple birth rate from 24% in 2009 to 16.9% in 2012 and meeting the year-on-year targets that we have set. And, crucially, this has been achieved without significantly impacting upon success rates.
We will continue to enforce the policy through ongoing monitoring and inspection, backed up by best practice guidance and the existing requirement to have an effective multiple births minimisation strategy in place. We will continue to work with professional and patient organisations to support clinics and, most importantly, we will still expect clinics to comply with the policy.
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Page last updated: 03 December 2013