The National Office of Public Health Genomics (NOPHG) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the independent, non-federal Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Working Group in 2005 to support the development of a systematic process for evaluating genetic tests in clinical practice. Reliable, evidence-based information is urgently needed by health care providers, consumers, policy makers, and others to help determine which genetic tests are safe and effective, and to provide guidance on their appropriate use.
The EGAPP Working Group released the first in a planned series of recommendation statements on the use of genetic tests in clinical practice for use by health care providers, consumers, policy makers, and others. In their first statement, the working group addresses the use of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) testing in adults with depression who are beginning treatment with a widely prescribed class of antidepressants. The recommendation statement appears in the December issue of Genetics in Medicine* and is available on the EGAPP Working Group’s Web site (www.egappreviews.org). The working group based their conclusions on an EGAPP-funded evidence report prepared by the Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center (www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/cyp450tp.htm), and on subsequent analysis and deliberations by EGAPP panel members on the strength of evidence and potential clinical and social impact of using the tests in practice.
With the expected increase in the number of genetic tests in practice, this recommendation statement from the working group marks the beginning of a sustained public health approach to independent assessment of genomic applications in clinical and public health practice. The multidisciplinary EGAPP Working Group prioritizes and selects tests for review, considers the available evidence, provides recommendations on appropriate use of genetic tests in specific clinical scenarios, and highlights critical knowledge gaps.
NOPHG promotes the integration of genomic advances into public health research, policy, and practice to improve the lives and health of all people. CDC is excited about the important contribution that the EGAPP Working Group is making in utilizing rigorous scientific review to further the understanding of the complex issue of genetic testing.
For more information on CDC’s work on genetics and public health, please visit NOPHG’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/.