by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 29, 2008 in DNA Testing, DNA and the Law
The European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) has published recommendations on gene patents as applied to genetic testing in the European Journal of Human Genetics. The chair of the working group, Professor Gert Matthijs of the Catholic University of Leuven, said:
This new proposal aims to reconcile what until now have appeared to be conflicting interests patent owners, commercial companies, health authorities, policy makers, geneticists with the ultimate goal of ensuring that patients retain access to the latest technological advances.
Key points include:
Patents benefit society through innovation and promoting progress.
The definition of “invention” vs. “discovery” with the identification of genes, mutations, links between genetic defect and disease are deemed to be discoveries by some and thus would be unethical to patent.
Patenting novel technical tools for genetic testing is a good way to promote investment and allow for invention.
- Genetic tests that examine a panel of genes will be impacted negatively by gene patents.
- Genetic tests combined with protein or metabolite measurements will also have to consider multiple patents.
- Patent applications do not take into account clinical validity and utility.
- There are international differences in patent systems which affect the availability of genetic services worldwide.
- Gene patents are overly broad and include not just the sequence but also protein and antibodies, etc.
Access to genetic testing can be impeded every step of the way from the discovery of new genes and mutations all the way up to availability of genetic tests. Right now, most of us concentrate on who has the right to have a genetic test and how. Another consideration clearly has to be who will develop the genetic tests and what intellectual property rights they have over their work.
As Michael Crichton said in a New York Times op-ed against gene patents:
Gene patents are now used to halt research, prevent medical testing and keep vital information from you and your doctor. Gene patents slow the pace of medical advance on deadly diseases. And they raise costs exorbitantly: a test for breast cancer that could be done for $1,000 now costs $3,000.
Should we prohibit the patenting of genes? Take the poll in this previous Eye on DNA post.
Living on Earth Looks Back at Gene Patents...
DNA Poll: Patenting Genes...
National DNA Day 2007...
Yay or Nay for Genetic Testing?...
GeneTests – Information About Genetic Testing...
Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?...
DNA Video: Sequenom Prenatal Genetic Testing...
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Search Eye on DNA
- Genetic Genealogy on Faces of America
- DNA Network Tweet Cloud
- Genetics = Real Science
- Larry David’s DNA Test
- Lopez Tonight First Late-Night Show to Offer DNA Testing
- American Genes Don’t Exist
- Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?
- Murderer Gets Reduced Sentence Because His Genes Made Him Do It
- Video: Knome’s Ari Kiirikki Speaks with Medgadget
- DNA Toys: Ben 10 and Digimon Digivice
- 100 Facts About DNA
- Salaries for Jobs in Genetics
- Fetal Gender DNA Tests Answer Common Pregnancy Question...Or Not
- How To Determine Paternity Without A DNA Test
- What does DNA mean to you?
- Eye on DNA Interview: Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh of RedTracer DNA Test for the Red Hair Gene, MC1R
- Books About DNA: The Crime of Reason by Robert B. Laughlin
- Genetically Modified Organisms Bring in the Cash
- Navigenics Introduces Physician Portal and Annual Insight Service
- People Who’ve Had Their Genomes Sequenced
09/29/2009 07:03 am
- Larry David’s DNA Test
11/17/2009 02:52 am
- 23andMe DNA Tests for $399, Down From $999
09/10/2008 04:33 am
- Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas
07/05/2008 09:14 pm
- Parenting Children Using Genetic Tests
05/18/2009 02:09 am
- Business of DNA
- DNA @ Google Answers
- DNA and Disease
- DNA and Genealogy
- DNA and the Law
- DNA Around the World
- DNA Fun
- DNA in General
- DNA Inventions and Gadgets
- DNA Lab Talk
- DNA Podcasts and Videos
- DNA Quotes and Excerpts
- DNA Testing
- Gene Therapy
- Genetic Engineering
- Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms
- Jobs Involving DNA
- Personalities with DNA
- Polls About DNA
- January 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- The Personal Genome
- John Hawks Anthropology Weblog
- Women in Science
- Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments
- MRSA Notes
- Gene Expression a la Razib
- Discovering Biology in a Digital World