IVF mums slugged with costs

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

COU­PLES will have to pay an ex­tra $ 400 to $ 1000 to have a baby us­ing IVF af­ter the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment en­acted new charges for pre­scrip­tion medicines used in the pro­ce­dure.

From this week, pa­tients will have to pay a $ 37.70 co­pay­ment for five pre­scrip­tion medicines used as part of their IVF treat­ment and be forced to buy them from a phar­macy.

Pre­vi­ously, these medicines were ex­empt from the PBS co­pay­ment and were ob­tained from the IVF clinic.

IVF Di­rec­tors Group chair­man Dr David Mol­loy said this would add about $ 200 on av­er­age to the cost of an IVF cy­cle.

Typ­i­cally a woman un­der 35 will re­quire two IVF treat­ment cy­cles to have a 90 per cent chance of con­ceiv­ing. A woman age 40 needs about five cy­cles to have an 80 per cent chance of preg­nancy.

The ex­tra charges would amount to $ 188 per cy­cle of IVF or $ 377 for two cy­cles.

A pa­tient on wel­fare would have to pay $ 30 per cy­cle or $ 60 for the av­er­age two cy­cles.

This would be in ad­di­tion to the av­er­age $ 3000 out- of­pocket ex­penses most cou­ples al­ready face when un­der­go­ing IVF, Dr Mol­loy said.

While there has been no public an­nounce­ment about the new charges, IVF doc­tors were in­formed of the change six weeks ago.

The Depart­ment of Health said the changes meant pa­tients would “have greater choice about where they ac­cess IVF medicine”.

“The new ar­range­ments will con­trib­ute to PBS sus­tain­abil­ity,” the depart­ment said.

More than 64,000 as­sisted re­pro­duc­tion cy­cles are per­formed in Aus­tralia each year.

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