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Home NATIONALGenome strategy working group formed
Tue, 02 Sep, 2014 01:31:49 AM
FTimes Report, Sept 2
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has established a working group to draw up a national genome strategy, said an official press release. 
The goal is to draw up a plan containing different measures that will enable the Finnish health care to use the obtainable hereditary genetic information about individuals efficiently. 
Genome information is here defined as all the hereditary genetic information obtainable about a person.
As genome research methods develop, it is possible to move more towards a personalised medical approach, where information about a person’s genome guides decisions regarding care. 
This information can be used increasingly for illness prevention, too.
Regarding the effective use of genome information, there are a number of issues to be resolved. For example, it is important to consider the assessment of genome tests’ effectiveness, quality assurance, data protection, and the training of healthcare staff. In addition, a plan should be drawn up as to how expenses will be managed.
The working group will arrange several workshops this autumn on themes relating to the strategy. In the first workshop scheduled for September 12, the question of the ownership of genome information will be discussed. 
In other workshops there will be discussions on the effects of genome technology on health care, ethical questions, research, innovation and commercialisation, and the healthcare information system. Also, municipal inhabitants will have the opportunity to express their views on the strategy.
In the formulation of the strategy the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is working together with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
The goal is that the draft strategy would be circulated widely for comments at the start of the new year and then be submitted to the ministry at the end of March 2015.
The formulation of a national strategy for effective use of genome information is part of the health sector growth strategy for research and innovation activities released in May 2014.
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