It’s not cool to patent our genes

Tying into the news circulating about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy, I thought I might share this video that was sent to me by Robyn Shepard from the American Civil Liberties Union. Now normally I don’t go into this stuff – but the video is light and easy and kinda fun to watch. Also, it is on a subject that needs to be noticed: creating patents on our genes.

Angelina urged women today in her article, “My Medical Choice” to get tested for a BRCA mutation if possible – except many women won’t get tested because it is NOT possible. Why? Because it’s really damn expensive. One company has the patent, and so the research cannot extend beyond and it will remain damn expensive to test. Unless . . . unless that patent gets kicked out, and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

But why go on explaining when You Tube can do it so much better? Here’s the video!

6 thoughts on “It’s not cool to patent our genes

  1. Pingback: Everyone else seems to be weighing in… | Searching for EMWA

  2. I am on both sides of this debate. Companies don’t attempt to find genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 unless there is financial gain (as much as we want to think they are out for the greater good, most companies out there need to make a profit, it may be the MBA in me that works at a nonprofit). Those companies put a lot of money into medical research which results in many fruitless and sometimes fruitful results. They identified those genes here in Utah (and Myriad is based here I believe). I participate in a lot of genetic studies, hoping they may discover if there is another gene (I was BRCA1 and BRCA2 negative, and a lot of genetic research is done here). I find the price aggravating and frustrating. Insurance in the states covered my testing (after several months of delay sorting out whether or not it was covered), but eventually patents go away and everyone can have access to a “generic” which means other people can test inexpensively. My fear is that without the financial gain, no one will try to find these kinds of things.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I have a friend whose mother died of Ovarian Cancer very young, and she is wondering if she needs to be tested. I think she’ll appreciate this.


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