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Modernisation of regulation and the new fee strategy


The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 was amended in 2001 to extend the purposes for which embryos could be used in research and for regulating all research regarding the derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines in the UK.

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Consultation process

In June 2002 the HFEA undertook a public consultation on the modernisation of regulation and new fee strategy.

The consultation was designed to seek views on a new fee structure to support the licensing and regulatory functions of the HFEA that was equitable, in accordance with Treasury Guidance, and that generated the necessary funding for the organisation.

The consultation document and summary was posted on the HFEA website and printed copies were widely circulated to individuals and organisations with an interest in reproductive health, health service regulation and funding.

The consultation asked for views on two preferred options for a new structure of fees, including:

  • option 1: introduction of new licence fees
  • option 2: present system but with higher treatment fees

The consultation asked respondents to consider the following issues:

  • whether a modified approach to the fees structure (option 1) should be developed, to provide lower fees for very small clinics engaged in simple processes with a compensating higher fee for large clinics engaged in more advanced techniques
  • who should pay for the cost of regulating research licences?
  • how could the HFEA develop its practices to meet more effectively the needs of the clinical and scientific communities, patients involved in assisted reproduction, and policy makers?

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Consultation outcome

The Authority at its September 2002 meeting considered the findings of the consultation and agreed that major changes to the HFEA’s functions were needed and that these would require additional funding.

The Authority decided that the additional income required to support regulation would be generated through an increased fee for treatment cycles.

As from 1st January 2003 there would be a treatment fee for In-Vitro Fertilisation of £100 per cycle and a treatment fee for Donor Insemination of £50.

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Further information

To see further fees reviews please see:

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Supporting documents

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    Page last updated: 31 January 2012

    How we regulate fertility clinics

    Doctors in a clinic having a discussionThe HFEA regularly inspects UK fertility clinics and research centres.

    This ensures that every licensed clinic is adhering to safety and ethical rules set out by the UK government.

    ...more about our regulation process