Good bye, Myriad. May 13, 2009Posted by ramunas in cancer genetics.
Yes, that happened. A lawsuit against Myriad BRCA patents in USA. The plaintiffs include Breast Cancer Action, The American College of Medical Genetics, the Association for Molecular Pathology, the College of American Pathologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, individual researchers, patient advocacy groups, genetic counselors, and individual women. Hey guys, I am with you!
The monopoly that Myriad Genetics now enjoys (at least in USA) due to these patents reduces consumer choice and removes the competitive incentives regarding price, quality assurance, or improvement of the tests (just remember the case with large scale deletions which previous Myriad tests just missed before 2002). In my opinion human gene patents are intrinsically flawed – you can patent a technology and tools (e.g. test) but not a (natural) sequence.
In Europe there was (and still is) strong opposition against Myriad monopoly (alas this year they infringed patents for commercial use in largest European countries).