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American College of Medical Genetics Commends the Signing of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act
Date:4/25/2008

BETHESDA, Md., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) applauds the signing into law of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (S.1858) sponsored by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and 21 co-sponsors including ACMG's Maryland Senators, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD). The bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 24, will expand screenings of newborn babies for congenital, genetic and metabolic disorders and will authorize a grant program to expand the funding to state and local health agencies to provide screening, counseling and health care services to newborns and children having or at risk for heritable disorders. It also provides for funds for education and training of health care professionals in new technologies related to newborn screening and to develop and deliver educational programs about newborn screening counseling to parents, families and advocacy groups.

"This legislation will undoubtedly save the lives of many children," says Michael S. Watson, PhD, FACMG, executive director of the ACMG, which recommends universal newborn screening for 29 treatable conditions. "Newborn screening is a vital public health program. Through early screening, diagnosis and treatment we can prevent the truly dire consequences of a number of treatable conditions. With the current expansion of newborn screening panels, it is estimated that about 10,000 of the 4.1 million babies born each year in the United States will be identified with one of the conditions for which treatment will have a significant impact on long-term outcome."

"This bill places resources where they are needed to make the difference for families across every state in the US. Advances in technology have made it possible and feasible to test newborns for a number of serious or deadly conditions. With advances in genetic medicine, it is now possible to diagnose, and even more importantly, to treat more diseases than e
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SOURCE American College of Medical Genetics
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