Dr Katie Allen, former professional medical researcher and paediatrician and the Federal Member for Higgins, Victoria, hosted a webinar this month to raise awareness of InGeNA among parliamentarians.

Dr Allen said genomics advocacy was close to her heart both personally and professionally. “Genomics is with us to the point where it can save lives, help lives and help people get better treatments through things like pharmacogenomics which is knowing your gene code to predict whether you will have a side effect to a certain drug.” “The era of genomics is incredibly powerful both in diagnostics but also for improving our healthcare system and making sure that drugs are used in the most sensible manner with the least side effects possible for consumers,” she said.

Dr Allen says she was part of the Parliamentary Health Committee on the inquiry for Approval Processes for New Drugs and Novel Medical Technologies in Australia.

We heard broadly from the genomics sector about how important it is for us to have better gene testing pathways and so building on the Medical Research Future Fund Genomics Mission we believe it is important to have better pathways for cell gene therapies and designing those to ensure the treatments and diagnostics of the future can be accessed.

Dr Allen said she was proud to be a co-chair with Milton Dick MP of the newly launched Parliamentary Friends of Medical Technology which would enable groups like InGeNA to have access to parliamentarians more formally.