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50 million genetics strategy

Government says genetic testing and gene therapy will transform healthcare, but critics want safeguards

Pat Hagan(pat.hagan@btconnect.com)

The UK's Department of Health yesterday (June 24) unveiled a plan to revolutionize healthcare with the aid of gene therapy. It has pledged £50 million ($83 million) over the next 3 years to increase genetic testing, to support gene therapy research, and to bring genetics-based healthcare into the primary care sector.

The blueprint, set out in a government white paper "Our inheritance, our future— realising the potential of genetics in the NHS," was hailed by new Secretary of State for Health John Reid as the beginning of a new era in which treatments are tailored to an individual's genetic profile.

"Our vision is for the National Health Service to lead the world in taking maximum advantage of the safe, effective, and ethical application of the new genetic knowledge and technologies for all patients as soon as they become applicable," the health secretary said in a press statement.

Reid...

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