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HFEA Multiple Births Target Withdrawn

 In the news...from January 2014, the HFEA has withdrawn the requirement for clinics to have no more than 10% multiple births. Since the policy was introduced in 2009, multiple birth rates have reduced from 1 in 4 IVF births to 1 in 6, whilst success rates remain steady. 

Press Release:

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has today decided to withdraw one of the enforcement powers underpinning its multiple births policy. From 1 January 2014, IVF clinics will no longer be subject to a condition on their licence that they keep their multiple births rate below the HFEA target.

With strong involvement from professional and patient organisations, the Authority’s policy on reducing multiple births following IVF has already had a positive impact: multiple births rates have reduced from 1 in 4 IVF births to 1 in 6, whilst success rates remain steady. However, in the light of a challenge launched by two UK clinics, resulting in considerable cost to the HFEA, the Authority decided at its board meeting in London to remove the licence condition, instead concentrating on other, existing powers to enforce the policy.

HFEA Chair, Lisa Jardine, said today:

‘We believe strongly in our multiple births policy – as do IVF professionals and patient groups, who have worked hard to reduce the avoidable risk of a multiple pregnancy over the past several years. The policy stands and we will still expect clinics to bring the multiple birth rate down to 10% – in the interests of IVF mothers and their babies.’

Commenting on the reasons for removing the licence condition, Lisa Jardine continued: ‘It is simply not appropriate that two of the 83 IVF clinics should not have this particular condition on their licences. Professionals are entitled to a level playing field and, by removing this licence condition, that is what we will achieve. We believe that our time and resources are better spent continuing to work productively with the IVF sector on behalf of patients to bring the multiple birth rate down to acceptable levels.’


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