Gene Patenting Lawsuit Against Myriad Genetics
On May 12, 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed a lawsuit charging that patents on Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are unconstitutional and invalid. The suit charges that the patents stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women's options regarding their medical care.
On March 29, 2010 a New York federal court ruled that the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are invalid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision and ruled in favor of Myriad Genetics. The case is now scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, April 15, 2013.
FORCE's concerns with gene patenting
FORCE supports efforts to improve patient access to genetic information, counseling and testing, improve the patient experience and quality of information that patients receive when undergoing genetic testing, and broaden access to genetic testing for researchers studying ways to improve care for individuals and families affected by hereditary cancer.
Our mission includes providing people with information and resources to determine whether they are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer due to family history or genetic predisposition and to make informed decisions about their health care options. On a regular basis, FORCE receives phone calls from people who do not have access to genetic testing due to the prohibitive cost of testing. Testing can be life-saving, as many women will opt for more intensive surveillance or preventive measures if they learn that they are at increased risk for hereditary cancer, yet many people cannot afford this valuable test. Further, we have heard from researchers, that gene patenting has led to restrictions on their access to critical information that might translate to improve care for members of our community.
FORCE files amicus (friend of court) brief
FORCE filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs' bid to overturn Myriad's patent on the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes.
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