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Rep. Kennedy Revives Obama's Personalized Medicine Bill for Next Congress; Adds Incentives

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A bill in this year’s US Congress that aimed to advance personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics will be replaced in the upcoming 111th Congress by another bill that includes a new tax incentive for personalized medicine research. 
 
The Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2008 (H.R.6498), introduced by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D – RI), adds to the language of Senator Barack Obama’s (D – Ill.) 2007 version new tax and test credit incentives to lure researchers into the field. The bill has been introduced and has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
 
The Obama and the Kennedy bills share the same core four-part focus.
 
First, the act would create a Genomics and Personalized Medicine Interagency Working Group that would include the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other groups outside of the Department of Health and Human Services.
 
It also would start a National Biobanking Initiative that would create a database for collecting and integrating genomics data with environmental and clinical health information. It also would use funding to improve training for diagnosis of genetic diseases and disorders, and for treatment and counseling.
 
The final part of the bill, one which may overlap with another bill sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy (D – Mass.), would implement an oversight matrix for regulating genetic tests and pharmacogenomic tests, and would encourage the development of companion diagnostics by drug sponsors and by device companies.
 
Representative Kennedy also has added to the 2008 bill a tax credit for research expenses incurred in the development of a companion diagnostic test.