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Genetics and public health: the challenge of incorporating genetic testing in health care

Grant number: 10/16613-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 03, 2011
Effective date (End): November 02, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Human and Medical Genetics
Principal Investigator:Débora Gusmão Melo
Grantee:Débora Gusmão Melo
Host: António Jorge dos Santos Pereira de Sequeiros
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Universidade do Porto (UP), Portugal  

Abstract

The incorporation, by Medicine, of technological advances from genomic research is frequently referred as a "quality jump", with applications in the diagnostic field, from the development of genetic tests that can detect mutations responsible for diseases or mutations that increase susceptibility for some diseases. The real benefits from technological development in medical genomic knowledge are not always clear to people in general. The real challenge, as emphasized by World Health Organization, is how to incorporate new technologies from genomic research (genetic tests, for example) in health assistance, without increasing health inequality. Brazilian Health Ministry, in January 2009, published the National politics of global assistance in clinical genetics (PNAIGC). Therefore, there is a lot of expectation in medical and patient's communities on the incorporation of genetic tests by PNAIGC (especially the ones related to Molecular biology), for everyone and not only for a privileged population that have access to private health insurance or research and teaching hospitals. It is necessary to create guidelines to help administrators to cope with the emerging genomic knowledge. Our project has the purpose to study available policies that deal with the utilization of genetic tests by public health services, especially SUS (Global health system) in Brazil. As a result, we will produce written recommendations to SUS legislators and regulators about how to safeguard SUS and its principles, including genetic tests in public health care, to benefit society as a whole. (AU)