Britain's leading fertility doctor, Lord Robert Winston has accused fertility clinics of exploitation, claiming that women are being charged thrice the actual cost of their treatment.
He said, ""The NHS is basing its fees not on what it costs but on what it thinks the market will bear."
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that eligible women aged 23-39 should be offered 3-cycles of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment on the NHS but primary care trusts vary widely in how closely they follow the guidance.
Figures reveal that in 2010 more than 45,000 women had fertility treatment, with 60% paying for themselves and 40% treated on the NHS. The average basic cost of treatment is 2,500 pounds in clinics run by the NHS and 3,500 pounds in private clinics, plus the drug charges and tests.
After calculating the costs for a large unit treating 2,000 patients every year, Dr. Winston concluded that the treatment could be delivered for 700 pounds a cycle,
which would reach 1,200-1,300 pounds a cycle when overheads (equipment, materials, rent) are included.
Lord Winston also accused private fertility clinics for using experimental techniques which have little evidence.