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Court to Decide if Human Genes Can Be Patented

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Unread 11-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
olsen
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Default Court to Decide if Human Genes Can Be Patented

Published: November 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM ET

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012...t-.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether companies can patent human genes, a decision that could reshape medical research in the United States and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.

The justices' decision will likely resolve an ongoing battle between scientists who believe that genes carrying the secrets of life should not be exploited for commercial gain and companies that argue that a patent is a reward for years of expensive research that moves science forward...
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"Thanks for this!" says:
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Unread 12-02-2012, 04:49 AM   #2
vlhperry
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Default Gene Information is not public property

In the first place, most researchers do not allow the patient to know the results, Even if the knowledge would help the patient make his own health decisions.

Secondly, the genes are taken from individual patients and by throwing the info into one pot, is demaning to the patients.

Perhaps if the Courts would address the problems of contracting patients for research, to compensate the patient with the knowledge of the results of their own test results and allow them first opportunity to benefit from the knowledge gained.

For now we must be grateful for what we have and not get our knicker's in a twist while waiting foor the decision. Whatever happens Happens for the best of all reasons.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Default conflict of interests and principles

It is more than interesting to me, actually it is illustrative, the Breast Cancer Action filed the lawsuit against Myriad Genetics challenging their company's patents on the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 genes. It is the ONLY breast cancer organization that does not accept funds from the Pharmaceutical and Genetics Industries. Actually, they have a strict no corporate funding policy.
Obviously many other Breast Cancer organizations care about the population they serve, and I suspect are very interested in the problem of patenting the "breast cancer gene". I am of the opinion the reason the Breast Cancer Action organization was the lone plaintiff is that all the other organizations do not want to greatly upset those that feed them. I have read that Myriad greatly increased their funding to numerous other breast cancer orgs once patenting of genes became a big topic. shame on all of them. I know it is difficult for these orgs, many of whom work hard to find funding. to turn down $$$. Though how can an organization effectively represent and serve their breast cancer patients (ie fight the patenting of these genes) when they receive funding from the corporation trying to own access to such important genetic information and the process to determine its presence? How can the organizations even be objective about whether the patenting is a good thing for their patients' interests? madelyn
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The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed. William Gibson

Last edited by olsen; 12-03-2012 at 11:32 PM.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #4
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Default BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes patents

Additional info concerning this lawsuit; the Breast Cancer Action was joined by the ACLU and the Public Patent Fnd who are now the plaintiffs. Commenting upon the lawsuit, the president of the Patent Fnd noted:

..."Myriad did not invent human genes, and has no right to claim ownership of them just because they removed them from the body,” says Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation which, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, sought the review. “The government does not have the right to give a corporation the exclusive power to control what we know about our own genetic makeup.”

As we wrote previously, many women with a familial history undergo genetic tests to determine if they have mutations on their BRCA genes. The info helps decide on treatment or prevention, such as increased surveillance, preventive mastectomies or ovary removal. Women who test positive using the Myriad BRACAnalysis test have an 82 percent higher risk of breast cancer and a 44 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. However, each test may cost about $4,000 and the patents prevent Myriad competitors from offering such a test without paying a fee.

http://www.pharmalot.com/2012/11/us-...patent-ruling/
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