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Underpaid Ovaries: The Antitrust Lawsuit

The Economist,  April 20, 2011
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Fertility assistance is a big and profitable business in America. Those needing help to conceive may be charged steep prices by the mostly privately owned clinics. In turn the clinics pay egg donors fees that often run into thousands of dollars. In contrast, an egg donor in Britain can legally be compensated by only the same amount as someone serving on jury duty—£61.28 (just under $100) a day. Although American donors are better rewarded than their British counterparts, one of them, Lindsay Kamakahi, has filed an antitrust lawsuit, complaining that the price of eggs has been kept artificially low by guidelines issued in 2000 by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), a body that promotes research on fertility treatments. The guidelines say that payments of $5,000 or more “require justification,” and sums above $10,000 “go beyond what is appropriate."

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