Women in West Norfolk will only get two chances at IVF on the NHS regardless of guidelines that say they should have three.
That was the decision of West Norfolk’s Clinical Commissioning Group yesterday, who also decided to open up treatment to women aged 40-42.
At a meeting of the governing body, Sue Crossman, chief officer, said: “The evidence is that the effectiveness of this treatment diminishes with every cycle.”
She said reducing the number of chances by one cycle would make it affordable to extend the age limit.
As well as recommending, the age limit extension and that women get three cycles of treatment, National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidelines say women should be offered treatment after two years of infertility.
However it was decided to retain the current waiting time of three years of infertility.
The new set of qualifying criteria is expected to increase the annual cost of IVF in West Norfolk from £229,000 to £253,000.
Ian Mack, chairman, said that criteria would prevent any postcode lottery in Norfolk as the rest of the county had adopted the same policy.
He said: “This has been subject to detailed clinical assessment and review.”