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Commercial genomics


Genomic testing seeks to offer health benefits and can provide other useful services. However, some have raised concerns regarding the potential risks associated with genomic tests being made directly available to consumers, including on the tests’ reliability and accuracy, the support available to consumers for understanding and acting on results, and the impact of these commercial tests on the NHS.

In the context of new regulations due to apply to health-related genomic tests from 2022, the Committee is completing an inquiry examining:

  • any health or other benefits that consumers can derive from using commercially available genomic testing;
  • the industrial strategy opportunity for genomics within the UK biotechnology sector, and how the Government could support UK growth (including for exports);
  • the extent to which currently available genomic sequencing and interpretation can provide accurate and unambiguous health results, for healthy and ill sections of the population;
  • the counselling or other support offered for those receiving, or considering asking for, commercial genomic test results, and whether this is to the standard required;
  • the potential benefits and risks for the NHS that arise from the increasing availability of commercial genomic testing;
  • what data obtained from genomic testing could be used for and if sufficient protection is in place for consumers using commercial genomic tests;
  • the regulations or standards that commercial genomic tests are currently subject to, and if any new or strengthened regulations or standards should be introduced to mitigate any perceived risks associated with commercial genomic testing;
  • the potential benefits and risks, for individuals and for the NHS, and the ethical implications of the NHS offering genomic testing to healthy individuals willing to pay and share their data anonymously; and
  • the extent to which the ‘in-vitro diagnostic medical device’ regulation will address concerns about the validity of genomic test results and the provision of counselling alongside such tests.

This inquiry builds upon our predecessor Committee’s inquiry, and will make use of evidence submitted to that inquiry. Please only submit new evidence if you want to update or supplement information that the previous Committee had received, or to provide specific evidence on the ‘in-vitro diagnostic medical device’ regulation.

If you would like to submit evidence of further written evidence to this inquiry, the Committee would welcome written evidence submissions on any of these points. Submissions should be sent to the Committee by Sunday 31 May 2020.



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