IVF competition forces prices down in Australia

Australian IVF companies are experiencing slow growth despite having lowered the price of basic fertility treatments.

Two of Australia’s biggest IVF providers, Virtus and Monash IVF, this week reported sluggish annual growth. Virtus’ annual profit slumped 15 per cent to $28.1 million in the 2016/17 financial year, while Monash IVF managed only a very modest net profit increase.

Monash and Virtus recently introduced low cost treatments to match the budget services offered by new provider Primary Health Care.

Low cost Virtus clinics now offer cycles for out-of-pocket costs of between $900 and $1,500, compared with premium service facilities that charge around $5,000.

Virtus CEO Sue Channon attributed the lacklustre growth to a slump in domestic demand, but said that growth would pick up in coming years.

"We have seen fairly significant growth in single women and same sex couples accessing our donor services," Ms Channon told AAP.

"Annual growth rate variability is not unusual and historically we see that following periods of lower activity we see improvement, and that's due to the pent up demand."

Ms Channon said genetic screening was a key area of growth for Virtus, with revenue from pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and screening increasing by more than one third in 2016/17.

"We can expect to see growth ... in genetic screening, we have expended our testing platform and we'll be doing serology and early obstetrics pathology testing," she said.


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