Patents on Genes

Legal bid against breast cancer gene patents

Women in the United States are being charged $3,700 for a breast cancer genetic test because only one company has the patent over the two key breast cancer genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.

Myriad Corporation in Utah owns the patents over the genes and is not allowing any other laboratory to look at or test women to see if they are more susceptible to developing breast and ovarian cancer.

A landmark court case has begun in the United States to decide the vexed issue of whether patents should exist on human genes.

At stake are hundreds of gene patents, which have been granted on the basis that isolating the genes out of the human body and into a lab environment is an "invention" and not a "discovery".

This is absurd; it's the equivalent of someone patenting a map of Australia and then using this patent to prevent anyone else from using Australia without licensing the patent.

Also I like the comment from Julian:

So...If the patent exists that they have invented the gene that causes breast cancer, rather than discovering it, does that mean that their invention causes breast cancer?

Like to see them deal with that.

Categories: Politics
Date: 2009-09-30 23:03:57, 9 years and 74 days ago

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