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Cash injection for genetic testing labs

9 July 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 266

Genetics services in six areas of the UK are set to receive £18 million of government funding to upgrade their laboratories, Health Minister Lord Warner has announced. The investment is part of a £50 million government initiative to incorporate new genetic technologies into healthcare, outlined in the Genetics White Paper published last June. The news follows recent announcements of increased funding for gene therapy trials, research into 'personalised' medicine and a new genetics education centre in Birmingham.

The laboratories set to receive the cash boost are based in London, the South and East of England, the West Midlands, East Midlands and South Yorkshire, the North West, and Northern Yorkshire. The funds will be used to upgrade equipment and make services more efficient, cutting waiting times for urgent test results to three days. 'Genetics will have a profound impact on healthcare, helping to predict and prevent ill health', said Lord Warner. 'As our understanding of genetics develops, we will be able to test patients for common diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes', he added, saying that the extra funds will help the NHS 'to provide access to these new genetic tests and also get results to patients more quickly'.

The Genetics White Paper set out the standards for genetic test results which should be available by 2006: within three days where the result is needed urgently, for example in prenatal diagnosis, within two weeks where the potential genetic fault is already known, and within eight weeks for unknown mutations in a large gene.

£18 million for genetic testing, UK
Medical News Today |  7 July 2004
Hospital cash for genetic tests
icBirmingham |  6 July 2004
26 August 2004 - by BioNews 
GPs in England are invited to apply for funding to become experts in genetics, the government announced recently. Money is available for ten GPs to take part in a training scheme that aims to make sure genetic knowledge and treatment are widely available to NHS patients. Applications for the funds...
23 June 2004 - by BioNews 
Research into pharmacogenetics - the use of genetic tests to match medicines to a person's genetic make-up - is to receive £4 million of funding, Health Minister Lord Warner announced last week. The cash will go to six different research projects, which include studies on medicines used to prevent blood clots, epilepsy...
29 March 2004 - by BioNews 
Gene therapy trials for haemophilia, muscular dystrophy and childhood blindness are to receive £3 million funding, the UK Department of Health has announced. A further £1 million has been set aside for research into the long-term safety of some gene therapy techniques. The funding is part of a £50 million...
27 June 2003 - by BioNews 
The UK government unveiled its plans for genetics in the National Health Service (NHS) last week, in the form of a white paper entitled 'Our inheritance, our future - realising the potential of genetics in the NHS'. The document lays out new measures for strengthening existing genetics services, and for incorporating...
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