IVF mums slugged with costs
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.