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News Focus

02 November 2022
Volume 33 · Issue 11

Companies offering private blood tests for a range of health conditions and vitamin deficiencies are piling the pressure on general practice, according to the BMA.

An investigation by The BMJ (Wilkinson, 2022) has found that while the market for these private tests is booming, some companies are making ‘misleading claims’ and ‘leaving an already overworked NHS to follow up “abnormal results”.’ There are now dozens of companies offering these home testing kits for a wide variety of conditions including diabetes, cholesterol and vitamin D deficiencies. Some are even offering genetic cancer risk screening and non-invasive prenatal screening for chromosomal abnormalities.

Responding to the investigation, Dr Preeti Shukla, BMA GP committee clinical and prescribing lead, said: ‘The rise of private companies offering over-the-counter, unregulated blood tests that make dubious claims about what they can identify, is a real concern for GPs and their NHS colleagues, who are the ones who are often left to interpret results and reassure their patients.’

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