Bioethics News

IVF audit in Australia

An Australian consumer watchdog is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the country’s 34 IVF clinics. Several complaints have been made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about the lack of transparency of IVF success rates, and the practice of making vague statements about a clinic’s own success rates.

The ACCC has started a major compliance exercise looking at how Australia’s 34 IVF clinics present their success rates.

“We certainly have found instances of information being put on the websites and being given to consumers that we think is misleading,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims told the ABC’s  7.30 Report.

One clinic– ‘Genea’ – has flouted the Fertility Society of Australia guidelines not to compare their success rates with the national average, advertising on its website “an almost 40 per cent greater chance of taking home a baby”. Experts argue the claim doesn’t reflect the complexity of the fertility problems treated by other clinics.

Meanwhile, a new South African egg donation agency, Known Egg Donors, has started flying women to Australia to give their eggs to Australian clinics. Australian IVF patients have paid $13,600 to the agency for fresh eggs from the donors, on top of their other IVF costs. 

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