The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published new guidance to make clear clinics’ legal obligations to treat people fairly and to help IVF patients understand their consumer rights.
The CMA has worked with the sector regulator - the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - to develop this guidance. The guidance, which follows extensive public consultation, covers what clinics should do to:
- provide the information that patients need so they can make a genuine comparison of clinics, including on price and success rates
- ensure they don’t mislead patients, for example around the effectiveness of their treatments and what they will be paying
- ensure they don’t mis-sell treatments, such as ‘add-on’ treatments - these are optional extras offered by some clinics that can cost up to £2,500 per cycle
- make sure terms and practices are fair
Commenting on this guidance, Dr Edward Morris, President of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“We welcome this important guidance that we hope will help to improve the quality of information and care given to women and their families undergoing IVF treatment. Infertility can have a devastating effect on people's lives, causing distress, depression, and the breakdown of relationships. It’s imperative that people can get the information and protection they need in order to navigate safely through what can often be complicated and expensive treatment.
“It is vital that fertility clinics do not mislead women around effectiveness and cost of treatments or miss-sell treatments that are not needed or are unrelated. The RCOG fully supports the implementation of this new guidance and we hope that it helps clinics to better understand their legal obligations”.
For media enquiries and interviews please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)7986 183167 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editor
The CMA's guidance for fertility clinics and guide for people accessing fertility treatment can be found here.
Broadcaster Lorraine Kelly has teamed up with the CMA to produce a video that encourages people to read its guide for patients when buying treatment.