Subsidy for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) testing in Australia
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Supported by scientific advances, work in the area of genetic testing and screening for cystic fibrosis (CF) continues to progress. As is often the case, acceptance and approval of promising new tests and treatments linger in a ‘tardis’ as layers of bureaucracy struggle with aspects of its implementation and delivery to patients.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a diagnostic intervention intended for couples that carry a specific, known mutation that is at high risk of being passed on to their offspring, such as CF. As part of an In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) program, cells are taken from embryos and tested for genetic and/or chromosomal disorders prior to implantation.
Here’s some good news……..
PGD is currently available in Australia (currently all costs are borne by the couple planning a pregnancy and the facility providing the test). After much consideration, the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) has concluded that there is a clinical need for PGD and has recommended that it should be publically funded.
So, what’s’ the problem?
Under current legislation, PGD does not qualify for Medicare subsidy so an alternate funding mechanism needs to be found to underwrite this vital service.
Discussions to have PGD testing subsidized have been ongoing for over ten years – an amount of time that is neither reasonable nor acceptable.
Now we are at an IMPASSE and here’s what you can do to help……
Add your name to our online petition.
At Cystic Fibrosis Australia we believe in empowering individuals with the information and options available to allow each person to make their own informed choices and have control over the path they choose to follow.
By subsidising the cost of PGD testing, the opportunity to test for a range of genetic conditions will no longer be based on affordability, instead on choice, the way it should be.
Australia lags behind other developed countries that already provide funding for PGD including the UK, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand, so let’s add Australia to that list as soon as possible in line with MSAC recommendations.
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