How do the new HFEA, CMA and ADA guidelines for clinics affect patients?
You may have heard about the changes to guidelines for IVF clinics – but what do the changes mean? How will the new code of practice affect you? Here’s a very simple explanation, with links for further information.

What are the problems with IVF advertising that the new guidelines aim to fix?
In February 2020, the CMA raised concerns about the way that some fertility clinics advertise to patients. Some of the issues they identified were misleading success rates and unclear price information. This included “add-ons” which are optional extras that many patients feel like they need. This can add several thousand pounds to the baseline price. Some patients are not aware that consumer law applies to IVF providers, and this was also identified as an issue for consumers.

How is this going to be better in the future?
To make things fairer and easier to understand for IVF patients, the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) and the CMA (Competitive and Markets Authority) have drawn up new guidelines and made plans to enforce them.
Fertility clinics must now take greater care not to mislead patients, and to help them to understand their rights when undergoing IVF. In theory, this will help patients to be better informed about the costs and processes of undergoing IVF. They will also receive more accurate information about success rates, and be aware of their consumer rights.

What do HFEA say about the changes?
HFEA representative Julia Chain said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the CMA and ASA to develop this new guidance in this unique area of healthcare. This is a major step forward for fertility patients as it provides added protection by ensuring that all clinics adhere to consumer and advertising law in addition to our regulatory requirements. By working together with other regulators, we can combine our powers to provide added protection in an evolving, competitive and commercial healthcare market.”

Where can I read more about this?

Here is the official government web page about the changes.

There’s an MSN article about the changes here.

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