The Financial Services Council (FSC) is proposing to establish a Genetics and Insurance Advisory Council to discuss future policy on clinical research and genetics testing.
FSC Chief Executive Sally Loane announced the initiative at yesterday's FSC Life Insurance Conference, urging the need to respond to the rapid advancement and importance of genetic science.
She has written to Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer and Health Minister Greg Hunt to suggest the formation of the Council which would gather policymakers, geneticists, health professionals, life insurance representatives and other stakeholders to discuss what framework would best give Australians confidence to take part in clinical research and to take a predictive genetic test for their own health reasons, if they choose to do so.
The framework would also need to ensure that the life insurance industry is sustainable with no material adverse impact for consumers.
The FSC's standard governing the use of genetic tests by life insurers was developed in 2002 - an area the industry self-regulates so Australians can confidently participate in medical or university research if they wish, she said.
"I'm not proposing a talk-fest. It's about identifying the points of agreement, the points of difference and agreeing a way forward," she said.
The FSC's membership includes life insurers, retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, financial advisory networks and licensed trustee companies.