New Down’s Syndrome test could save money, say British obstetricians

A new prenatal test could reduce the expense of caring for those with Down’s Syndrome, says the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

In a recent submission to the National Screening Committee, the RCOG said that a “rigorous economic analysis” is needed to evaluate the benefits of rolling out Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT).

If the decision has been made primarily on cost grounds, then a more rigorous economic analysis has to be made that includes the lifetime costs of caring for children and adults with Down’s syndrome (bearing in mind that cfDNA testing as a primary screen test will identify approximately 289 more babies with trisomies). Such an economic analysis may (or may not) suggest that cfDNA testing for all is cost-effective.

The RCOG submission was part of an NSC review into the impact of introducing NIPT.

Disability advocates have condemned RCOG’s suggestion, saying that it “puts a price on the life” of individuals with Down’s Syndrome.

‘It is utterly shocking that in this day and age someone can put a cost value on someone’s life just because they have a disability,” Dr. Elizabeth Corcoran of the Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation told The Daily Mail.  “It is worse still that this comes from a respected Royal College that is a professional beacon for doctors.”

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | down syndrome, prenatal testing, uk

This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

comments powered by Disqus