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Reproductive health: Checkerboard of infertility treatment in Europe
Date:10/6/2010

Bad Hofgastein, 6 October 2010 -- European patients are in many countries, in fact, limited in their individual choice of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) treatment, experts from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) stressed today at the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG).

The EHFG is the most important conference on health care policy in the EU. This year it has attracted about 600 decision-makers from more than 40 countries in the fields of health care policy, research, science, and business as well as from patients' organizations.

During an ESHRE workshop the political, professional, industrial and patient perspectives highlighted the problems related to the patchwork of MAR regulation in Europe. The regulatory diversity in MAR is attributed to the religious, cultural, social, ethical and moral attitudes prevalent in individual countries towards human life and its origins. In particular, gamete and embryo donation, surrogacy and preimplantation genetic diagnosis are hot spots in MAR regulation in Europe.

Demand for infertility treatment on the rise The field of MAR is subject to the EU directive 2004/23/EC on quality and safety of human tissues and cells. "19 Member States have specific legislations in place for MAR, in the remaining eight countries, MAR is covered by the general health legislation," said Isabel de la Mata from the European Commission. "The organization of health systems is the exclusive competence of the members, meaning the legally allowed forms of treatment, the eligibility criteria and the reimbursement of treatments all vary between the Member States." And yet demand for MAR treatment is on the rise in Europe. The latest survey by ESHRE - the only one of its kind in Europe found that 494,599 treatment cycles were performed in Europe in 2006 compared to 203,893 cycles ten years earlier. The number of clinics reporting to the survey increased from 482 to 1,016 during t
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Contact: Hanna Hanssen
hanna@eshre.eu
32-473-353-381
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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