Do you need assistance with fertility sector guidance published by the CMA?

The Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) is currently consulting on draft guidance to assist providers of fertility treatment to patients in the UK to understand and comply with their obligations under consumer law.

The guidance sets out specific rules around how consumer law should apply to fertility clinics, the information that should be provided to patients, and ways in which clinics should ensure their services, terms and conditions, and complaints handling processes are fair. Among other things, the guidance addresses the following:

  • Terms and conditions of patient contracts, including limitations and exclusions of liability, payments and pricing plans
  • Information that should be provided to patients to inform their decisions about treatment, both before and after they start treatment
  • Provision of 'add-on' treatments
  • Standards required for advertising and promotion, including the publication of data

The guidance, if implemented in final form in March 2021 as anticipated, may have a significant impact on your treatment plans, pricing, T&Cs and consent forms. We would be happy to talk to you about how the guidance may affect your clinic. We have put together a small package of options that may be of interest:

  • A briefing note on how the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), CMA and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulations work in combination – what you can and cannot do when advertising and selling your services.
  • An audit of your T&Cs, consent forms, and promotional material to identify areas of non-compliance with the draft CMA guidance.
  • Support in drafting a response to the CMA draft guidance identifying issues which in your view should be amended or removed from the final guidance (this response must be provided by 5 January 2021).
  • An update of your clinic T&Cs and consent forms to comply with the CMA guidance.

Originally Published by Hill Dickinson, November 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.