British Fertility Society statement on the award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2010 to Robert Edwards for the development of IVF

Mr Tony Rutherford, Chairman of the British Fertility Society said:

The British Fertility Society is delighted to hear that Robert Edwards has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine 2010 for his pioneering work in the development of in-vitro fertilisation and offers him our warmest congratulations.  This award represents the long overdue recognition of the vision and tenacity of a man whose research led, not only to the birth of Louise Brown and the subsequent revolution in reproductive medicine, but to many other scientific developments including embryonic stem cell research and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.  His work with Patrick Steptoe represented a unique collaboration between laboratory science and clinical medicine.  Together they courted controversy and overcame opposition to develop the treatment on which so many depend today.

“Bob is held in high esteem and affection by patients and colleagues alike.  “Doing our best for our patients” has always been at the heart of his philosophy.  At a time when some health authorities are considering cutting IVF services, it is important that we remember this legacy and strive to provide all patients in the UK, no matter where they live, with fair access to fertility treatment on the NHS, in line with the published NICE guidelines.”