Biotech company wants to control genes and cancer testing

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Genetic News(NaturalHealth365) Myriad Genetics is a biotech company with a case in the courts that has caught the attention of the entire pharmaceutical industry. This is a major decision – the Supreme Court of the United States must grapple with the question of whether human genes can be patented. The answer to this question is certain to reshape medical and biotech industries.

Will the supreme court protect our lives or sell out?

DNA is the building block of life and now it is being considered the possible building block of a multi-million dollar medical monopoly. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of Myriad Genetics – it will (legally) disregard the idea that DNA belongs naturally with the individual. Will the courts uphold the sanctity of life?

This case should have never even reached the courts. In truth, a decision favoring the biotech industry is saying that individuals have no right to their own lives. Drug makers are simply looking to create changes, within the law, to drive up their market share and profits.

According to Robert Cook-Deegan, director for genome ethics, law & policy at Duke, “The intellectual framework that comes out of the decision could have a significant impact on other patents – for antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, stem cells and diagnostics on infectious microbes that are found in nature.”

He went on to say: ‘This could affect agricultural biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, green-tech, and the use of organisms to produce alternative fuels and other applications.’

Can we really trust biotech companies with our lives?

Naturally, the Supreme Court ought to be concerned about what Karuna Jagger, executive director of Breast Cancer Action said; “What that means is that no other researcher or doctor can develop an additional test, therapy or conduct research on these genes.”

Myriad Genetics, the company behind this case, argues that: “countless companies and investors have risked billions of dollars to research and develop scientific advances under the promise of strong patent protection.”

Up to now, the Supreme Court has said that abstract ideas, natural phenomena and laws of nature cannot be given a patent, which gives an inventor, the right to prevent others from making, using or selling a novel device, process or application.

Peter Meldrum, CEO of Myraid Genetics, is more concerned about whether the company will be able to maintain a monopoly on genetic testing for cancer. At the same time, Myraid Genetics would love to have drug companies partner with them to increase profitability.

The problem is one of ethics, since this really amounts to having the public pay a fee to look at their own genes. Academic medical centers offer their own diagnostic tests on the BRCA gene – at a much lower cost. This patent will slow down progress on making affordable tests for those in need.

The greatest argument comes from those that claim companies like Myriad Genetics will slow down and cripple lifesaving medical research against cancer. If this case is decided incorrectly, it threatens to undermine our freedom and ability to look after our own health for generations to come.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2013/04/13/myriad-genetics-ceo-owns-your-genes/
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Genetics/GeneticTesting/38470
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/04/15/human-gene-patent-case-goes-to-supreme-court

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