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IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

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IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  NoStone on Mon 26 Dec - 21:40

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/ivf-clinics-are-ripping-off-desperate-couples-6281515.html

Fertility clinics are charging women who want to have children three times the actual cost of their treatment – with the NHS as guilty as private practitioners in exploiting desperate couples.

The accusation comes from the fertility pioneer Lord Robert Winston, who today launches a scathing attack on the high cost of fertility treatment in the UK and the unfettered use of expensive, unproven tests by private clinics.

The Labour peer and former head of the NHS IVF clinic at Hammersmith Hospital said there was a "huge amount of exploitation going on" and that some of the charges were a "scandal". "A combination of avarice on the part of the clinics and desperation on the part of the women is driving this market," he said in an interview with The Independent.

Figures show over 45,000 women had IVF in 2010, with 60 per cent paying for themselves and 40 per cent treated on the NHS. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends that eligible women aged from 23 to 39 be offered three cycles of treatment on the NHS but primary care trusts vary widely in how closely they follow the guidance.

For the majority of patients, who must pay privately, the average basic cost of treatment is £2,500 a cycle in clinics run by the NHS and £3,500 in private clinics. The price of drugs and tests is added to the bill which can double the cost. Lord Winston said: "My view is that both NHS and private clinics are charging much more than the cost of delivering the treatment." He calculated the costs, taking account of salaries and overheads, for a large unit treating 2,000 patients a year where economies of scale meant it could carry out treatment more efficiently.

"I costed the salaries very generously and concluded you could deliver treatment for £700 per cycle. Adding in the overheads [equipment, materials, rent] takes that to £1,200 to £1,300 a cycle.

"NHS clinics are charging their private patients around £2,500 a cycle and private clinics around £3,500 a cycle. It is pure exploitation. The NHS is basing its fees not on what it costs but on what it thinks the market will bear."

He said some clinics were charging annual fees of £350 to store frozen embryos and eggs when liquid nitrogen cost 70 pence a flask and the storage costs amounted to no more than £10 a year.

"It is a scandal," he said.

Lord Winston also attacked the growing use of experimental techniques for which there was little evidence by private clinics trying to enhance their success rates. "There are no randomised controlled trials and without trials we cannot know that they work. Can you imagine going into hospital with cancer and a doctor saying, 'I am going to give you this treatment because I think it might work?'

"If you are doing experimental treatment there should be a cast-iron rule that you don't charge vast sums to the patient. What they are doing is profiting from something that has not been trialled."

Responding to the criticism, Simon Fishel, managing director of Care Fertility, the largest private provider of IVF in the UK, challenged Lord Winston to defend his own private practice at the Royal Masonic Hospital during the 1990s. "Why did he charge what he charged then? His clinic was not achieving the best success rates but charged among the highest prices."

Mr Fishel said the ethics of using new tests on patients for which there was only anecdotal evidence was one he "wrestled with". He was the first to use a screening technique called array-comparative genomic hybridisation, which led to the birth of a baby to a mother whose 13 previous attempts at IVF had failed.

"Anecdotal evidence is never enough. But you can't always start off with [better] evidence. When was sperm injection ever proven to be safe before it was introduced in the UK? The largest cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality. If we can screen out embryos which are chromosomally abnormal, the patient may have a better chance [of giving birth].

"If we were paying credence to Robert Winston's view we wouldn't be treating patients and we wouldn't have won the Nobel Prize [awarded to Sir Robert Edwards in 2010 for the world's first IVF baby born in 1978]. In the end treatment must be evidence-based but it doesn't mean you have to start off from there."

Lord Winston said all the money raised from his private work had gone to charity and was ploughed back into treating NHS patients. "I raised millions of pounds. I don't think I could sleep at night paying into my personal account the large sums that women are paying for treatment."

IVF treatment conceivable changes

Getting fertility treatment on the NHS could be about to become more difficult. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is updating its guidance on infertility treatment and is due to publish new recommendations in February.

Current guidance says that women aged 23 to 39 who have been trying for a baby for a year without success should be offered three cycles of IVF. But provision for the one in seven couples in the UK which has difficulty conceiving is patchy.

Campaigners fear criteria for treatment may be tightened under the new guidelines. In addition, they say the NHS reforms which include plans for GPs to take over commissioning of services could exacerbate the existing postcode lottery.

Susan Seenan, deputy chief executive of the Infertility Network, said IVF must be commissioned nationally to ensure equality of access: "IVF treatment is the only example of an accepted medical intervention that is routinely rationed. Local commissioning of fertility services will only serve to widen this postcode lottery, further entrenching inequalities in the health service."

Case study: 'The treatment is hugely expensive'

Gill Tinsdeall and her husband Mark spent £20,000 on five failed attempts at IVF before turning to adoption. "It was absolutely shattering. IVF treatment is hugely expensive. We were able to afford it by going without things but it is a huge amount of money."

Gill, a human resources manager and Mark, who works for a water company, began treatment in West Yorkshire in 2007. She was then 34, and though one cycle of treatment was offered on the NHS, there was a year-long waiting list and they felt they could not wait. They paid around £3,000 as private patients to be treated at their local NHS hospital, but were unsuccessful. Another attempt at a private clinic led to a pregnancy but Gill miscarried.

Two failed attempts with donor eggs followed, and a final attempt, paid for this time by the NHS, was also unsuccessful.

Gill said: "The fight to get access to NHS treatment added hugely to the stress. The only thing that kept me going was the friends I met through Infertility UK. They helped me through the nightmare." Contact infertilitynetworkuk.com

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  NoStone on Mon 26 Dec - 21:59

Would a 'chromosomal abnormality' make DNA testing more difficult??

Were the Mc's involved in any 'experimental techniques'??

Did any take place at the 'Royal Masonic Hospital'?

Who else did received treatment here and were they done on the cheap - viz If you are doing experimental treatment there should be a cast-iron rule that you don't charge vast sums to the patient.????

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  kitti on Mon 26 Dec - 22:25

Though I feel very sorry for people that cant have children and go through IVF.I do wonder if sometimes messing around with embryos can cause abnormalities that perhaps were not there before doing so.


I know two people that have twins through IVF....one set off girls....one set off boys.



The twins girls are fine apart from one off them having an eye defect which she is back and forth to the hospital and she has worn glasses And one off the twin boys seems to be much smaller than the other brother and they are looking into it.


Off course....it may be nothing to do with IVF....I don't know.


Where I work, in the vicinity off a quarter off a mile or less..there are 6 sets off twins....2 that I know off are IVF .....the other 4.....something in the water lol


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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 11:14

People who have a coloboma of the iris have this condition because of the presence of extra chromosomes. It's known as a rare chromosomal / genetic disorder.

There's some fascinating stuff about the ' Human Genome Project ' around diseases and even linked to the US Department of Energy & Atomic Energy Commission ( Radio active fall out ) and effects on gentics.

" Still, there are many who question the Human Genome Project in particular, and genetic engineering in general, on ethical grounds, fearing that it could give scientists or governments too much power, unleash a Nazi-style eugenics (selective breeding) program, or result in horrible errors, such as the creation of deadly new diseases. In fact, it is impossible to search "genetic engineering" on the World Wide Web without coming across the Web sites of literally dozens and dozens of agencies, activist groups, and individuals opposed to genetic engineering and the mapping of the human genome. For more about the Human Genome Project, genetic engineering, and their opponents, see Genetic Engineering. "

On June 7th, there is this entry in Gerry's blog:

"Afterwards we caught with a friend of mine who was attending a medical conference in Amsterdam."

In the city on that day was EuroMedLab 2007

Euro MedLab 2007, Amsterdam
Event Start date: 03 Jun 2007
Event End date: 07 Jun 2007
Each congress day will start with a plenary lecture. Leading experts in the fields of Genetics
Netherlands Genetic Initiative . EuroMedLab

All interesting stuff





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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Guest on Tue 27 Dec - 11:21

Interesting indeed - I've got all sorts of interesting ideas whizzing around my head after that.

Must remember to watch "The Boys From Brazil" again sometime ..................

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 11:29

The End Is Nigh wrote:Interesting indeed - I've got all sorts of interesting ideas whizzing around my head after that.

Must remember to watch "The Boys From Brazil" again sometime ..................


What with all those little blonde girls running around on that holiday, it really does make you wonder

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 13:37

Hi Eli...thanks for the Article, Some Women like the first case have several IVF treatments before conception but Kate was very lucky the treatment
worked first time in Amsterdam for Madeleine and there was only 20 months age difference between her and the twins which meant Kate became
pregnant only 11 months after Madeleine was born......probably accounted for the fact that she couldn"t cope and moaned that Gerry didn"t help.

Could Kate have been in Amsterdam to be discussing more IVF ? The twins were born in the U.K.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  NoStone on Tue 27 Dec - 13:57

Kate got her IVF in Amsterdam!!?? Do they allow certain practices over there that they do not allow in the UK??????

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 14:26

NoStone wrote:Kate got her IVF in Amsterdam!!?? Do they allow certain practices over there that they do not allow in the UK??????

I presume both were working and earning enough to pay for the treatment and as Doctors would have known of the best Hospitals to guarantee success first time. As a matter of fact, maybe Kate produced several eggs and had them stored in a U.K. Hospital which is how the twins were so close in age
to Madeleine. If kate was in Amsterdam in June 1997 maybe it was to see the Gynaenocologist with the thought of trying to replace Madeleine but
decided against it.......I"m just guessing Eli, but the twins were born in the U.K. because that is where Kate met Jane Tanner I think.

Just a thought , the McCanns married in 1998 , Madeleiene born in 2003, couples usually wait longer than that before agreeing to IVF, it"s usually the
last resort.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  kitti on Tue 27 Dec - 16:28

Kate McCann got her IVF in Birmingham ......hence the headlines....'madeleines father is from birmingham'



It was I think her second try and she still had stored eggs left AFTER conceiving Madeleine....so why, when they went to amsterdam , did they go through IVF their when they already had eggs left over in the UK...unless their was something wrong with the eggs so they didn't want to try with those ones.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 16:36

kitti wrote:Kate McCann got her IVF in Birmingham ......hence the headlines....'madeleines father is from birmingham'



It was I think her second try and she still had stored eggs left AFTER conceiving Madeleine....so why, when they went to amsterdam , did they go through IVF their when they already had eggs left over in the UK...unless their was something wrong with the eggs so they didn't want to try with those ones.

Hi Kitti, I would say kate had a few eggs and maybe when they left Amsterdam the eggs were STORED in Birmingham. Weren"t the twins born in a
Leicester Hospital?Do we know where Madeleine was born?

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 17:16

I'm not sure where Kate had the treatment done, I know there has been mention in the past of Amsterdam and I know it's one of the first places they visited after Madeleine went missing and I believe they worked there for a time.
There was a story in the media that the father / doner was from Birmingham, though this was quickly denied by the Mc's. I assume this would mean the doner embryo came from there, or split embryo, in which case twinning could have occurred.

I think around 80% of IVF treatment results in twins being born.











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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 17:26

NoStone wrote:Kate got her IVF in Amsterdam!!?? Do they allow certain practices over there that they do not allow in the UK??????

In the UK the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act(1) started life on 17 May 2007.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  margaret on Tue 27 Dec - 17:52

kitti wrote:Though I feel very sorry for people that cant have children and go through IVF.I do wonder if sometimes messing around with embryos can cause abnormalities that perhaps were not there before doing so.


Kitti, there is a slightly higher % of abnormalities from babies born from ICSI (not IVF itself). The difference with ICSI is that a (healthy looking) sperm is taken and injected directly into the egg to force conception. (it doesn't always work though). Most IVF is done by putting the eggs and sperm in together and letting nature take it's course so as inside the body the best/fittest sperm wins, with ICSI even though the sperm looks healthy it doesn't follow that it IS.


NoStone wrote:Kate got her IVF in Amsterdam!!?? Do they allow certain practices over there that they do not allow in the UK??????

Not that l know of. It just may have been cheaper/better success rates.

kitti wrote:
It was I think her second try and she still had stored eggs left AFTER conceiving Madeleine....so why, when they went to amsterdam , did they go through IVF their when they already had eggs left over in the UK...unless their was something wrong with the eggs so they didn't want to try with those ones.

Do we know that for sure? Can;t remember it in the book.... it is less invasive to simply use those frozen embryoes though....

ELI wrote:
There was a story in the media that the father / doner was from Birmingham, though this was quickly denied by the Mc's. I assume this would mean the doner embryo came from there, or split embryo, in which case twinning could have occurred.

I think around 80% of IVF treatment results in twins being born.


Doesn't neccesarily mean the donor came from there (that is, if they used donor eggs and/or sperm). By the time the fertilised embryoes are put back into the womb splitting has NOT occured so there's no way to know if you've got twins until a scan confirms this (around 11 weeks later). So there's no way a twin Maddie was born anywhere.

One in 80 (natural) pregnancies results in twins and one in 4 of IVF pregnancies so 25% not 80%

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  margaret on Tue 27 Dec - 17:56

Panda wrote:
I presume both were working and earning enough to pay for the treatment and as Doctors would have known of the best Hospitals to guarantee success first time.

It's all online for anyone to see success rates Panda, btw no clinic can guarantee success first time. I think the best success rates are around 40% but that's for every cycle, you could have 10-12 cycles and still not get pregnant. I have known couples who that has happened to, it's heartbreaking.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  AnnaEsse on Tue 27 Dec - 17:57

margaret wrote:
kitti wrote:Though I feel very sorry for people that cant have children and go through IVF.I do wonder if sometimes messing around with embryos can cause abnormalities that perhaps were not there before doing so.


Kitti, there is a slightly higher % of abnormalities from babies born from ICSI (not IVF itself). The difference with ICSI is that a (healthy looking) sperm is taken and injected directly into the egg to force conception. (it doesn't always work though). Most IVF is done by putting the eggs and sperm in together and letting nature take it's course so as inside the body the best/fittest sperm wins, with ICSI even though the sperm looks healthy it doesn't follow that it IS.


NoStone wrote:Kate got her IVF in Amsterdam!!?? Do they allow certain practices over there that they do not allow in the UK??????

Not that l know of. It just may have been cheaper/better success rates.

kitti wrote:
It was I think her second try and she still had stored eggs left AFTER conceiving Madeleine....so why, when they went to amsterdam , did they go through IVF their when they already had eggs left over in the UK...unless their was something wrong with the eggs so they didn't want to try with those ones.

Do we know that for sure? Can;t remember it in the book.... it is less invasive to simply use those frozen embryoes though....

ELI wrote:
There was a story in the media that the father / doner was from Birmingham, though this was quickly denied by the Mc's. I assume this would mean the doner embryo came from there, or split embryo, in which case twinning could have occurred.

I think around 80% of IVF treatment results in twins being born.


Doesn't neccesarily mean the donor came from there (that is, if they used donor eggs and/or sperm). By the time the fertilised embryoes are put back into the womb splitting has NOT occured so there's no way to know if you've got twins until a scan confirms this (around 11 weeks later). So there's no way a twin Maddie was born anywhere.

One in 80 (natural) pregnancies results in twins and one in 4 of IVF pregnancies so 25% not 80%

I am quite sure that DNA analysis of the hair brought from Rothley was shown to be from a female child of Kate and Gerry McCann, who was not Amelie. So, I don't think there was a donor egg.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  margaret on Tue 27 Dec - 17:58

NoStone wrote:Would a 'chromosomal abnormality' make DNA testing more difficult??


Good question, that's one l don't know the answer to!

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  margaret on Tue 27 Dec - 18:07

AnnaEsse wrote:
I am quite sure that DNA analysis of the hair brought from Rothley was shown to be from a female child of Kate and Gerry McCann, who was not Amelie. So, I don't think there was a donor egg.

Good point Anna, l remember reading that too.

-----

Sorry to be pedantic about IVF but when people don't understand it all sorts of myths can occur. I know someone who was in a doctors surgery once when IVF came on the telly showing in the waiting room, the woman next to her said 'That IVF do you know it means men can have babies now'

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 18:10

margaret wrote:
Panda wrote:
I presume both were working and earning enough to pay for the treatment and as Doctors would have known of the best Hospitals to guarantee success first time.

It's all online for anyone to see success rates Panda, btw no clinic can guarantee success first time. I think the best success rates are around 40% but that's for every cycle, you could have 10-12 cycles and still not get pregnant. I have known couples who that has happened to, it's heartbreaking.

Thanks margaret, that"s why I think there was more than one egg and they were stored. Discounting the 9 months pregnancy for the twins, there was
omly 11 months difference between Madeleine and the twins . Hardly time for Kate to get used to being a Mother and becoming pregnant again.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 18:12

margaret wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
I am quite sure that DNA analysis of the hair brought from Rothley was shown to be from a female child of Kate and Gerry McCann, who was not Amelie. So, I don't think there was a donor egg.

Good point Anna, l remember reading that too.

-----

Sorry to be pedantic about IVF but when people don't understand it all sorts of myths can occur. I know someone who was in a doctors surgery once when IVF came on the telly showing in the waiting room, the woman next to her said 'That IVF do you know it means men can have babies now'

Many years ago , my very first job, one of the Staff was about 21 and thought a test tube baby was born in a test tube...I kid you not.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Guest on Tue 27 Dec - 18:22

Nooooooo ............ surely you realised that the Griffin & George Stork brought them?

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  margaret on Tue 27 Dec - 18:32

Panda wrote:

Thanks margaret, that"s why I think there was more than one egg and they were stored. Discounting the 9 months pregnancy for the twins, there was
omly 11 months difference between Madeleine and the twins . Hardly time for Kate to get used to being a Mother and becoming pregnant again.

No, it was 21 months Panda. Madeleine was born May 2003, the twins were born January 2005.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 18:34

The End Is Nigh wrote:Nooooooo ............ surely you realised that the Griffin & George Stork brought them?

I wasn"t very clued up at 15 but this female was about 23 yrs of age anf very pretty. she started dating a guy from the Office, Eric who was in his late
twenties, wore a belted Raincoat with the belt nearer his chest than his waist. They married , I moved to another job and years later he was charged
with stealing Women"s clothes off Washing lines, all part of life"s rich pattern.

Sorry, back on topic.

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 18:40

margaret wrote:
Panda wrote:

Thanks margaret, that"s why I think there was more than one egg and they were stored. Discounting the 9 months pregnancy for the twins, there was
omly 11 months difference between Madeleine and the twins . Hardly time for Kate to get used to being a Mother and becoming pregnant again.

No, it was 21 months Panda. Madeleine was born May 2003, the twins were born January 2005.

What I was saying is that , even at 21 months, 9 months of those would have kate"s pregnancy for the twins.....actually, May 03 to Jan 05 IS 2o months.

So Kate hardly had time to get used to Madeleine before she became pregnant again.......why the rush?

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Re: IVF Clinics 'are ripping off desperate couples'

Post  ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 18:46

margaret wrote:

ELI wrote:
There was a story in the media that the father / doner was from Birmingham, though this was quickly denied by the Mc's. I assume this would mean the doner embryo came from there, or split embryo, in which case twinning could have occurred.

I think around 80% of IVF treatment results in twins being born.


Doesn't neccesarily mean the donor came from there (that is, if they used donor eggs and/or sperm). By the time the fertilised embryoes are put back into the womb splitting has NOT occured so there's no way to know if you've got twins until a scan confirms this (around 11 weeks later). So there's no way a twin Maddie was born anywhere.

One in 80 (natural) pregnancies results in twins and one in 4 of IVF pregnancies so 25% not 80%
==============

Thanks for correcting the percentage margaret, I wonder if this is this due to regulating the risks of multiple embryo transfer or has it always been 25% ? i know the The Multiple Births Foundation was set up to reduce multiple births resulting from fertility treatment.


"If you undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), your chances of having more than one child are 20 to 40 percent, depending on how many embryos are placed in your womb. Other fertility techniques such as GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer) and ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer) are also more likely to result in multiple pregnancies"


Last edited by ELI on Tue 27 Dec - 18:51; edited 1 time in total

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