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HFEA statement on fertility treatment 'add-ons'

HFEA official response to BBC Panorama regarding fertility treatment 'add-ons'.

UK fertility clinics generally provide excellent patient care. However, an increasing number of patients tell us they feel unsure about IVF treatment add-ons – whether they work and are worth the extra cost. This puts pressure on patients to make difficult decisions at what is already a stressful time for them.

We are concerned about the recent step change in the use of treatment add-ons. Unfortunately, we have limited powers to stop clinics offering them, nor to control pricing. Instead, we publish information directly for patients, so that they can have the facts at their fingertips before they go to a clinic and are able to make informed decisions and properly consent to treatment.

With expert advice from our scientific committee, we have for some years been publishing information about add-ons such as reproductive immunology and PGS, making it clear whether or not they are proven to be effective. We are also working on producing information for our new website about a wider range of add-ons, introducing a simple labelling system to highlight their levels of effectiveness and potential harm.

If Panorama uncovers any information about the use of treatment add-ons during their making of the programme, we ask that they share it with us so we can investigate further.

ENDS

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Review date: 13 April 2019