Leading class action law firm Slater and Gordon is investigating the possibility of commencing a class action on behalf of women who have been sold ineffective add-on therapies while undergoing IVF treatment.
Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader Margaret Kent said the add-ons were expensive and there were serious question marks over the efficacy of the techniques.
“We have been investigating this practice for many months and have spoken to leading researchers and practitioners in the area,” Ms Kent said.
“Particularly in the case of pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), there is significant evidence to suggest that the test is not an effective determination of an embryo’s chance of culminating in a live birth.
“Pre-implantation genetic testing can cost up to $895 per embryo and if a woman is having multiple rounds of IVF that can quickly add up to a significant additional cost.
“If you are trying to get pregnant of course you are going to want to maximise your chance of success, but there is insufficient credible evidence to show PGT-A does in fact increase the probability of having a baby.
“In fact, there is evidence that PGT-A may even reduce the overall chance of a live birth in a cycle.
“Frankly, we think people who are already incredibly vulnerable are getting ripped off.”
Ms Kent said the firm estimates more than 8000 women have been sold pre-implantation genetic testing – a test that supposedly determines the likelihood of the embryo proceeding to a live birth – in Australia and New Zealand in the past 12 months.
She said while they were particularly concerned about the efficacy of pre-implantation genetic testing, they were investigating the selling of add-on treatments more broadly.
“Going through IVF is incredibly stressful – physically, emotionally and financially – and it is incredibly concerning that women are being encouraged to spend more for additional treatments or procedures that have no proven benefit,” Ms Kent said.