Conflicts of Interest in Australia’s IVF Industry: an empirical analysis and call for action

05 June 2018

In Australia, the growing assisted reproductive technologies (ART) industry has recently received some public criticism. Much of this criticism centres on the concern that doctors are increasingly motivated by profit, rather than patient interests. These concerns appear to suggest that the growing business of ART generates conflicts of interest (COI) for clinicians. While media reports may be rhetorically compelling, claims that ART practice is distorted by COI must be supported by empirical evidence. This preliminary study sought to engage with people involved with the ART industry and map out their concerns related to COI in ART. A small convenience sample of eight professionals was interviewed. Here we present the major themes uncovered, including a richer understanding of the ‘interests’ of various parties involved in Australian ART. We then propose a strategy for how this topic could be constructively explored.