premiums may be influenced by the results of genetic tests for hereditary cancers if proposals from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) get the go-ahead.
Currently such predictive tests are only used in the case of Huntington's disease, and only then for policies worth over £500,000. Any further requests would currently have to apply to higher value policies only, but could see the remit expanded to include tests for mutations linked to cancers.
Test results can only be used at the behest of the Genetics and Insurance Committee (GAIC) and currently only apply to three per cent of all insurance policies, though campaigners fear this could extend to less expensive policies once the current moratorium agreement expires in 2011.
"The ABI has said that it may come forward with applications covering specific predictive genes for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, but not until 2008 at the earliest," the Department of Health's Genetics and Insurance Committee stated recently.
The Human Genetics Commission has said that the moratorium should become mandatory for all policies, and that genetic tests should not be used for any policy, whatever its value.
"We would like the moratorium to become a legal requirement […] At the moment it's a voluntary thing," a spokesman commented. © Adfero Ltd
Cancer treatment news : 16/05/2007