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NHS to offer DNA tests to patients open to sharing their data

January 28, 2019 / Efe Otokiti

The National Health Service (NHS) is to begin offering patients in England the opportunity to have their DNA sequenced – but for a price. The NHS will provide a report which will detail susceptibility to genetic diseases like Alzheimer's and Huntington's to those who take part, but only if they also consent to share their information with the Department of Health-owned Genomic England. Genomic England was initially funded by the NHS to complete the 100,000 Genomes Project. The project's objective was to sequence 100,000 whole genomes "from NHS patients with rare diseases, and their families, as well as patients with common cancers". The original target of 100,000 was reached in December 2018 and now the government has raised the body's target to one million whole genomes sequenced within the next five years. The project has received some criticism as NHS services are usually free at point of delivery. British Society for Genetic Medicine chairwoman Dr An...