Patents on Human Genes: A Patient's Perspective

VICTORY! On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously invalidated the patents on BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.

Learn more about the ACLU Supreme Court challenge to patenting our genes at The Fight to Take Back Our Genes.

Read more about the BRCA Supreme Court case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Geneticshere.

VICTORY! On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously invalidated the patents on BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.

Learn more about the ACLU Supreme Court challenge to patenting our genes at The Fight to Take Back Our Genes.

Read more about the BRCA Supreme Court case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, here.

You've been advised to get tested for your risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, BUT two genes associated with these diseases, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, are patented by Myriad Genetics. Myriad controls:
•Research on the genes
•The test price
•Your ability to obtain a second opinion
•And lab location

Speaking of lab location, the number of labs providing clinical, full sequencing of BRCA 1 and 2 genes:
•In Canada: 4 ↓
•Germany: 10 ↓
•Europe: 25 ↓
•But if you live in the U.S. there is only 1 lab that provides full sequencing of BRCA 1 and 2 genes.

Why is there only 1 lab?

After Myriad obtained its patents, it sent letters ordering other labs to stop testing. ↓

And the cost?

Comprehensive testing could cost you 4,040 dollars. ↓

You might ask - if Myriad discovered the genes, don't they deserve to profit?

Many researchers around the world were involved in identifying these genes, not to mention that 5,000,000 dollars of Federal tax money funded the pursuit of the BRCA 1 gene. ↓

In addition to BRCA 1 and 2, 20 percent of our genes are patented. ↓

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide whether a private company can own a part of your body.

Gene patenting has dangerous implications for our health, patients' rights, and scientific advancement.

The ACLU challenged gene patenting before the Supreme Court. We expect a decision in June 2013.

Update: VICTORY! On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously invalidated the patents on BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.

Learn more about the ACLU Supreme Court challenge to patenting our genes at: /fight-take-back-our-genes

Read more about the BRCA Supreme Court case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics at /free-speech-technology-and-liberty-womens-rights/association-molecular-pathology-v-myriad-genetics

Sources
1.NCBI- Gene Tests, "BRCA1 Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/GeneTests/lab/clinical_disease_id/242... (accessed March 14, 2013).

2.Id.

3.Id.

4.Mildred K. Cho, et al., "Effects of Patents and Licenses on the Provision of Clinical Genetic Testing Services," Journal of Molecular Diagnostics 5(1):3-8 (February 2003). March 2013.

5.Yale Cancer Genetic Counseling, "Myriad Raises Price of BRCA Testing, Again," (Apr. 19, 2010), http://yalecancergeneticcounseling.blogspot.com/2010/04/myriad-raises-pr... (accessed June 16, 2010).

6.Bryn Williams-Jones, "History of a Gene Patent: Tracing the Development and Application of Commercial BRCA Testing," 10 Health Law Journal 131 (2002).

7.Kyle Jensen & Fiona Murray, "Intellectual Property Landscape of the Human Genome," Science 310(5746):239-240 (October 14, 2005).

Patents on Human Genes: A Patient's Perspective

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