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Pregnancy: Screening

Question for Department of Health

UIN HL3125, tabled on 8 November 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the position of Jane Fisher as both a member of the National Screening Committee (NSC) and Director of Antenatal Results and Choices which receives funding from five biotech companies which develop non-invasive prenatal tests, what consideration they gave to the possibility of a conflict of interest having affected the NSC’s recommendation that non-invasive prenatal tests be offered on the NHS, prior to the decision to adopt that recommendation.

Answered on

22 November 2016

Ms Jane Fisher is one of the patient and public voice representatives on the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC). Members are appointed on to the UK NSC as individuals to fulfil the terms of reference of the committee, not as representatives of their particular professions, or their employer or any interest group. At the UK NSC’s meeting on 19 November 2015, Ms Fisher disclosed publicly that, “ARC has received unrestricted donations from biotechnical companies that provide non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and a breakdown of donation has been provided to the UK NSC. ARC is a non-directive organisation which advocates individual choice. They do not promote any products or services. Money donated is put towards sustaining the service provided.” A copy of the minutes of the UK NSC’s meeting on 19 November 2015 is attached.