American Clinical Laboratory Association Tips for Consumers of Genetic Tests

American Clinical Laboratory Association Tips for Consumers of Genetic Tests

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted February 25, 2009 in DNA Testing

Lab Results for Life

Thinking about purchasing a genetic test? The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) recommends that consumers ask the following six questions:

1. Is the test done in a medical lab certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)?

2. Is a genetic counselor, physician or other knowledgeable health professional available to assist you in selecting tests and interpreting results?

3. Do the claims seem hard to believe?

4. Are other products, such as nutritional supplements, being sold along with the test?

5. Are you willing to be “an informed” consumer — that is, take the time to understand what genetic testing tells you?

6. Does the provider of the service offer adequate assurances that your genetic information will be kept private and secure?

The ACLA’s educational campaign “Results for Life” also has an informative storyboard about genetic tests (pdf) and how personalized medicine can help with each stage of diagnosis and treatment to predict, screen, diagnose, select treatment, and manage the disease.

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