Insurers in Britain are planning to impose higher premiums on women who have not tested themselves for breast cancer. Insurers have approached government regulators in this regard and are asking that women test themselves for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations, which play a huge role in the development of breast and ovarian cancers.
Currently, the insurance industry cannot ask for genetic results until 2011, the only disease that forms an exception is Huntington's disease. But this new move met with criticism from campaigners, Dr Helen Wallace, deputy director of GeneWatch UK, said, "Genetic testing should not become a vetting tool for employers and insurance companies." The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is expected to petition the Genetics and Insurance Committee to implement these new tests, "We are looking to get approval for the breast cancer test by the end of the year," Harpal Karlcut, chairman of the ABI genetic working party, said. But a team of scientists and campaigners are to meet the government asking it to ban such applications.