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EVENTS

Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?

Progress Educational Trust
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RG
29 March 2017 6pm (wine reception), 6.30pm-8.30pm (panel discussion)
Dr Simon Fishel, Founder and President of CARE Fertility and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017 Sally Cheshire, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017 Professor Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017 Fiona Fox, Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and chair of PET's one-day conference 'Rethinking the Ethics of Embryo Research: Genome Editing, 14 Days and Beyond', taking place at University College London's Institute of Child Health on Wednesday 7 December 2016 Dr Raj Mathur, Consultant Gynaecologist and Lead for Reproductive Medicine at St Mary's Hospital and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED AND REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.
Please consider becoming a Friend of PET or making a donation, so that our small charity can afford to book larger venues and produce audiovisual recordings of its events.
An evening debate in London about the role of 'add-ons' in fertility treatment, produced by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and sponsored by the British Fertility Society (BFS).
The debate will be chaired by Fiona Fox, with speakers Professor Adam Balen, Sally Cheshire, Dr Simon Fishel and Dr Raj Mathur.
If tweeting about this event, please use the hashtag #PETaddons

Fertility treatment 'add-ons' are procedures and treatments offered alongside IVF - sometimes at considerable expense to the patient - which may not be supported by robust evidence. The benefits, harms and appropriateness of add-ons are often open to question, and the role of add-ons in fertility treatment has become a matter of heated debate among professionals and a source of confusion for patients.
A recent episode of the BBC1 programme Panorama, entitled Inside Britain's Fertility Business, led to controversy when it questioned the way UK fertility clinics offer add-ons to patients. The programme was accompanied by two British Medical Journal (BMJ) studies, arguing that there is little or no evidence to support most add-ons offered in the UK and that the websites of UK fertility clinics are unclear on the subject of add-ons. A number of fertility professionals have responded by criticising the approach and the findings of Panorama and of the two BMJ studies.
Another review of the way UK fertility clinic websites discuss add-ons has been undertaken by the fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The HFEA has reported concerns about add-ons among fertility patients and other stakeholders, and its 2017-2020 Strategy includes the objective to 'publish clear information so that patients understand treatments and treatment add-ons and feel prepared'.
This public event will explore questions raised by these developments, including:
What counts as an add-on? The BMJ studies list 27 'add-on interventions', distinguishing these from other categories of treatment including 'alternatives to IVF' and 'treatments for preservation of fertility'. Fertility professionals argue that the BMJ approach has led to some 'necessary' and 'essential' fertility treatments being wrongly categorised as add-ons.
Meanwhile, a recent study of add-ons in the journal Human Reproduction focuses on six 'adjunct IVF laboratory treatments and tests that are currently being offered globally', and an earlier study in the journal Facts, Views and Visions in ObGyn assesses various 'interventions which are being practiced with little justifiable evidence to support their use within the realm of IVF/ICSI programmes'.
Who is best placed to judge the evidence for add-ons? What is the ideal standard of evidence? Is it for example a Cochrane Review, or is this unrealistic?
Alongside its recent study of add-ons, the journal Human Reproduction published an editorial entitled 'Do we need a randomised clinical trial for everything?' which concluded that the answer to this question was no.
How much evidence is it reasonable to expect, before a treatment is offered to patients? IVF itself was not subject to randomised controlled trials when it was first introduced into medical practice, and the pioneers of IVF had to develop and refine the technique with little support from the medical research establishment.
But should patients be expected to pay for a novel treatment, if they are effectively part of a clinic's research? If patients do not pay, then how else should such research be funded and by whom?
What is the role of the HFEA, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and professional bodies such as the British Fertility Society (BFS) in helping patients navigate add-ons, given that online information can often fall short of established standards?
Does equipping the patient with a thorough grasp of evidence (or the lack of it) effectively amount to a recommendation for or against each add-on?
Finally, what is the duty of the medical professional and what is the role of patient choice?
If a professional mentions the availability of a novel or unconventional treatment on their website, or during a consultation, is this tantamount to endorsing that same treatment?
If a patient is informed of the lack of evidence for a treatment, and is still prepared to pay for it, should they be able to do so?
A panel of experts with different perspectives will debate these questions. In the PET tradition, much of the event's running time will be devoted to letting the audience put questions and comments to the speakers.
This event is fully booked and registration has closed. Media queries should be emailed to Sandy Starr at

SPEAKERS

Professor Adam Balen Professor Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017
Chair of the British Fertility Society
Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine

Sally Cheshire Sally Cheshire, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017
Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Chair of Health Education North West

Dr Simon Fishel Dr Simon Fishel, Founder and President of CARE Fertility and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017
Founder and President of CARE Fertility and the Rachel Foundation
One of the first researchers to demonstrate that embryos are capable of responding to their environment

Dr Raj Mathur Dr Raj Mathur, Consultant Gynaecologist and Lead for Reproductive Medicine at St Mary's Hospital and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017
Consultant Gynaecologist and Lead for Reproductive Medicine at St Mary's Hospital and Consultant Gynaecologist at Manchester Fertility
Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester

CHAIR

Fiona Fox Fiona Fox, Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and chair of PET's one-day conference 'Rethinking the Ethics of Embryo Research: Genome Editing, 14 Days and Beyond', taking place at University College London's Institute of Child Health on Wednesday 7 December 2016
Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust (PET)
Founder and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre

PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

The British Fertility Society, sponsor of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event 'Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?', taking place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Wednesday 29 March 2017

Datalabel The UK's Leading Supplier Of Medical Labels & Asset Labels

 
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