Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Science and Business of DNA Diagnostic Testing

Andrew Pollack has an good story in today's New York Times that covers advances in DNA testing for diagnostic purposes -- it's becoming more and more widespread, and profitable (this is related to my cover story in this Sunday's NY Times Magazine). His story raises, once again, questions about patents, profits and science, and the impact this has on the cost and quality of the healthcare people get in exchange for their money and genetic samples (which this science depends on).

Some makers of these tests are making the argument that regulation of their products would "make it uneconomical to develop many tests, which have smaller sales than drugs. " But when there's this kind of money involved, and people are relying on these tests to decide whether they should bypass chemotherapy, somebody better make sure those tests actually do what they claim to do.

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