View Single Post
12-13-2012, 04:57 PM
Certified G
AfroThunder396's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Hamburg, NY
Country: United States
Posts: 29,909
vCash: 1670
I just pulled out my copy of the book and, what do you know, he talks about Myriad and BRCA1/BRCA2 specifically in the author's note.

Here's an excerpt:

When Myriad patented two breast cancer genes, they charged nearly three thousand dollars for the test, even though the cost to create a gene test is nothing like the cost to develop a drug. Not surprisingly, the European patent office revoked the patent on a technicality. The Canadian government announced that it would conduct gene tests without paying for the patent. Some years ago, the owner of the gene for Canavan disease refused to make the test widely available, even though families who had suffered with the disease had contributed time, money, and tissues to get the gene identified. Now those same families could not afford the test.

That is an outrage, but it is far from the most dangerous consequence of gene patents. In its heyday, research on SARS was inhibited because scientists were unsure who owned the genome --three simultaneous patent claims had been filed. As a result, research on SARS wasn't as vigorous as it might have been. That should scare every sensible person. here was a contagious disease with a 10 percent death rate that had spread to two dozen countries around the world. Yet scientific research to combat the disease was inhibited--because of patent fears.

At the moment, hepatitis C, HIV, hemophilius influenza, and various diabetes genes are all owned by some entity. They shouldn't be. Nobody should own a disease.

Michael Crichton, Next, HarperCollins Publishing, 2006

AfroThunder396 is offline   Reply With Quote