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Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics holds final meeting

The final meeting of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (SACGHS) will be held October 5-6, 2010. In its nearly 10 years of operation, SACGHS has addressed all the major topics delineated in its charter: the integration of genetic and genomic technologies into health care and public health; the clinical, public health, ethical, economic, legal, and societal implications of these technologies; gaps in research and data collection; the impact of patent policy and licensing practices on their accessibility and availability; and how genetic and genomic technologies are used in other settings such as education, employment, insurance, and law. The Committee issued comprehensive reports and provided advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which will provide the government with a solid foundation for addressing new developments in the ongoing integration of genetics into clinical practice and public health. As part of the renewal process for any committee established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the government must periodically assess the continuing need for the committee. Recognizing that SACGHS has fulfilled its mandate, the Committee’s charter is being extended for six months only. This timeframe will allow SACGHS to hold one more meeting (October 5-6, 2010) and provide sufficient time to complete administrative tasks associated with the operation of the Committee. At the October meeting, the Committee will focus on completing its education and training report and on drawing concluding thoughts about other pending issues, such as genomic data sharing, comparative effectiveness research and clinical utility, and implications of affordable whole-genome sequencing.


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