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Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Page: 3175

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Mr Dutton asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 25 February 2010:

In respect of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus ( XMRV» ):

(a)   what information can her department provide on «XMRV» and any nexus to other health conditions,

(b)   are there any tests available in Australia for «XMRV» , and

(c)   has her department considered facilitating testing for «XMRV» in Australia; if so, what was the outcome.

Ms Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(a)   Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus ( «XMRV ) is a human virus that has been found in tumour tissue of patients with prostate cancer and the blood of people with chronic fatigue syndrome. The medical research literature on the topic is equivocal as to whether the virus may play a causative role in these conditions.

(b)   The Department is not aware of any pathology laboratory that offers testing for this virus in Australia.

(c)   If such a test were generally considered by the medical profession as necessary to the appropriate treatment of patients then a Medicare benefit would be payable under item 69494 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule.