Many in this industry have been following this case, Kamakahi v. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for some time regarding whether or not the actions of the ASRM and its affiliate doctors were considered price fixing pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act or not. It looks as if it may go to trial next year.
According to the News & Observer,
If nothing is beyond reach of the law, then we shouldn’t be surprised that the Sherman Antitrust Act is being invoked in a potentially game-changing California case centered on the price of … human eggs.
Two women who object to the generally accepted $10,000 cap for an egg donation say the market should set the cap, not two professional fertility organizations that dominate donors’ compensation.
If the women win, they will turn the fertility trade upside down. That has big implications for fertility clinics such as the one at Duke Medical Center and some 15 other providers in the Triangle area….
Legally, there is no cap on what a woman can charge for her eggs. In this respect, the United States is unusual among the world’s nations because it has allowed a market for eggs to thrive.
However, the donor compensation amounts recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the alpha male of the egg business, are $5,000 and cap at $10,000. The larger amount must be “justified” by ASRM guidelines…
It sounds off-key to haggle over the price of DNA, which is the core of the issue in the California case, but think about this brave new world.
Should the price of an egg be capped at $10,000 by organizations that write the guidelines? Or should the price be determined by what the market will pay?
The Sherman Antitrust Act suggests the latter, and I agree.