The New York Times reports:
In a federal lawsuit, a group of women are challenging industry guidelines that say it is “inappropriate” to pay a woman more than $10,000 for her eggs. The women say the $10,000 limit amounts to illegal price-fixing, and point out that there is no price restriction on the sale of human sperm. A federal judge has certified the claim as a class action, which will most likely go to trial next year.
The guidelines do not have the force of law, though they have been widely followed. But demand for eggs has increased and put pressure on their price. So some high-end fertility clinics and egg-donor agencies are ignoring the guidelines and paying far more — on rare occasions in the six figures — while donors are shopping around to get the best price.
The $80 million egg-donation market continues to evolve, the Times explains. There is some evidence suggesting the guidelines are ignored. But the lawsuit still raises questions about the fairness of a guideline for egg donors that was set based on the prevailing rate for sperm donors, increased for the higher proportion of time spent to donate an egg — a calculation that ignores the pain and health risk to the egg donor.
Read the story here.