HGC Says Counseling should be Provided with Genetic Testing Services

Human Genetics Commission, which is concerned about the availability of DIY genetic tests, wants Companies to follow certain regulations along with selling genetic testing services.

They said that it is necessary for the Companies to offer counseling with tests for serious genetic conditions such as Huntington’s disease or breast cancer.

According to them, Companies are required to abide by the basic principles of consent, truth in marketing, scientific rigor and balanced interpretation.

Public Health Minister, Anne Milton has said that people, who buy these tests, deserve to have self-assurance that the test they have chosen is evidence based and they must understand the fact that what does the result of the test mean.

“These principles are a timely, appropriate and proportionate response to the growth in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry and I hope they bring much needed reassurance to patients” said Ms. Milton.

Currently, the market of these services is unregulated and there is a fear that some of the tests may be vague and can offer false hopes or raise unnecessary panic among people without any clinical support.

According to the guidelines of HGC, basic information on genetic testing works should be provided to the patients and evidence should be given for any claims made about the tests.