Monday, September 27, 2010

Who Owns Your Genes? It's not you. And that matters.

Please visit the above light blue link for the full article published in Self Magazine this month about how patents are impacting BRCA testing.

Her is an excerpt from the article:

Myriad's monopoly on BRCA has also prevented genetics counselors and other clinicians from giving patients valuable information about their genes that Myriad couldn't yet provide. In 2006, researchers at the University of Washington at Seattle showed that Myriad's BRCA analysis was missing about 12 percent of mutations in breast cancer patients with a strong family history of the disease. "We could test for the missing mutations at our lab, so I contacted Myriad and told them we'd like to offer that to patients," says Ellen Matloff, director of Cancer Genetic Counseling at Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut. "They said no, that they were going to offer the test once they'd completed their research. More than a year passed before they started offering it, now called the BRAC Analysis Rearrangement Test [BART]. We had to sit here that whole time knowing some patients had mutations that were being missed.”