Friday, June 14, 2013

Victory in the Supreme Court

I have always wondered how Myriad Genetics was able to patent the two BRCA genes. I always thought it was a little funny because they are essentially a body part. Now the Supreme Court has agreed (9-0) that genes cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring.

Its about time.

Patents are awarded for inventions and new ways of making things. So I never understood how Myriad Genetics could own the genes. They had the market cornered on the BRCA tests and charging $3300 for the test. Even though most insurance companies pay for it, this overcharge is just another way that insurance costs are paying for vastly inflated prices.

This will also impact the biotech industry as they develop new gene sequencing techniques and it should open up genomics as researchers don't have to worry about infringing on another's patented gene.

This has been a long awaited decision that received very little press. It did make the front page of the newspaper in biotech happy Boston but I couldn't find it on CNN.

I call this progress and can actually agree with the Supreme Court on this decision.

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