Call to fund non-invasive Down syndrome test

The non-invasive blood test for Down syndrome should be funded by Medicare to make it available to all pregnant women, say the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

The NIPT (non-invasive prenatal test) for fetal and placental DNA in the mother’s blood detects trisomy 21 with high sensitivity and specificity and can help many women avoid amniocentesis.

It is currently used by about one in five pregnant women but, at $400 to $500, it is beyond the reach of many and so the college has applied for it to be put on the Medicare schedule, president Dr Michael Harrison (pictured) told