The NexGen Alliance for the advancement of molecular diagnostics celebrates the National Health System’s (SNS) recent allocation of funds as well as the Genetic Testing Catalogue approval.
Every project undertaken entails different kinds of objectives: short, medium and long-term. The greater the project’s complexity, the more goals there are that fall in the latter category.
In January 2021, we launched the NexGen project and, as mentioned in our blog article, the recommendations set out by the group of experts who lead the project were adopted by health authorities.
We knew, however, that our most ambitious objectives would only be realistic in the long-term. Now, as we come to the end of 2023, it is time to celebrate these positive results.
Step 1: The Catalogue
On the 23rd June the SNS’ Common Services Portfolio’s Genetic Testing Catalogue was approved by the Interterritorial Council. This portfolio includes the first seven groups and prioritised therapeutic areas, including solid tumours, blood disorders, paediatric and hereditary cancer, as well as pharmacogenetics.
There is talk from the Ministry of Health of “producing an electronic publication of the finalised Catalogue online” and of “identifying the authorised health centres which carry out each of the outlined tests,” the catalogue of biomarkers is intended to be adaptable and updated every six months.
100 million euros of public funding
Another very positive milestone to highlight, is the news brought about by the General State Budgets for 2023: the Genomics Portfolio Implementation Plan (the GenES Plan), which allocates 100 million euros to the continued development of equality and cohesion in the health system.
Financed by European Recovery Funds, this plan “will allow us not only to guarantee access to genetic diagnostics, but also to improve the storage, processing and analysis of data which will generate intelligence and improve quality of care”, as affirmed by the Ministry of Health.
There is still some way to go. The next important step, for example, is the approval of a Ministerial Order enforcing the use of these genetic tests and biomarkers, which will be a true indication of the effective implementation of molecular diagnostics.
Progress, has been somewhat delayed by the recent current political uncertainty. We must, however, drive initiatives such as the NexGen project in order to continue our progress step by step for the benefit of all patients.