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Single embryo transfer is the cheapest and most effective strategy for assisted reproduction
Date:3/24/2009

ower treatment cost for women under the age of 40 having in vitro fertilisation, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or both. This refutes any concerns about the cost implications or efficacy of an eSET policy.

"At a time when there is an intense debate in many countries about how to reduce multiple pregnancy rates and provide affordable fertility treatment, policy makers should be made aware of our results. Hopefully this will encourage them to improve the reimbursement of assisted reproduction treatment, especially as it shows that a limit of only one reimbursed cycle will not necessarily result in lower costs once you take into account the far higher social and financial costs of treating the complications caused by multiple births arising from dual or multiple embryo transfer.

"These data should also encourage clinics to evaluate their embryo transfer policy and adopt eSET as their everyday practice for women younger than 40."

In a second paper also published online in Human Reproduction [3], researchers in The Netherlands used a mathematical model to determine the "real world" cost-effectiveness of eSET, DET and combinations of these strategies. The model was based on a maximum of three consecutive IVF cycles.

Led by Dr Audrey Fiddelers, a clinical researcher and epidemiologist at the Academic Hospital Maastricht (The Netherlands), the researchers found that combining several different transfer policies (eSET, DET or standard treatment: eSET in good prognosis patients, with DET for the rest) was not cost-effective.

"A choice has to be made between three cycles of eSET, DET or standard treatment," said Dr Fiddelers. "It is not cost effective to switch between these three treatment methods during the period of the three cycles of treatment.

"From a cost-effectiveness point of view, the choice of which policy to implement depends, however, on society's willingness to pay. If society is willing to
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-771-129-6986
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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