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Is IVF good value for money? Why funding of assisted reproduction is sound fiscal policy
Date:6/8/2010

Children conceived by medically assisted reproduction (MAR) have fiscal implications for government both in terms of future government spending and tax revenue. Based on public funding to conceive a MAR child -- after factoring in education, future health and pension costs, and future tax contributions of this child - the discounted net tax revenue (the difference between future government spending and tax revenue) of a child born in 2005 is roughly 127,000 in today's value.

Considering an average treatment cost of approximately 15,000 to conceive an IVF-child, this represents an 8-fold return on investment (ROI) for governments [1].

While the costs of MAR treatment represent a substantial proportion of a patient's annual disposable income, MAR typically represents less than 0.25% of total national healthcare expenditure. By comparison, obesity accounts for 10% and 2-4% of total health care spending in the US and Europe respectively.

MAR treatments elicit significant medical, reproductive and economic influence in developed countries with 3.5 million children estimated to have been born worldwide since 1978. These children make up a substantial proportion of national births with up to 4.1% in Denmark and 3.3% in Belgium. In the US, Europe, and Oceania over 600,000 treatment cycles resulted in 120,000 children being born in 2005.

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Task Force on 'Reproduction and Society' reviewed the economics of MAR to evaluate the benefits of funding of MAR for society and to inform policy makers on effective, safe and equitable financing of MAR.

Dr. Mark Connolly and colleagues who published this review paper in the journal Human Reproduction Update based their findings on key epidemiological and economic studies.

Affordability of IVF is one of the main drivers of treatment utilisation, choice of treatment, and embryo transfer practices which ultima
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Contact: Hanna Hanssen
hanna@eshre.eu
322-269-0969
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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