Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When asking your physician is not enough

23andMe and the FDA

Some weeks ago I explained the FDA "closure" of DTC genetic testing business. NEJM analyses with detail the rationale behind such policy:
The goal of the FDA and 23andMe (as well as all clinical geneticists, testing laboratories, and the entire genetics industry) should be to ensure that genomic information is both accurate and clinically useful. Clinicians will be central to helping consumer–patients use genomic information to make health decisions. Any regulatory regime must recognize this reality by doing more than simply adding the tagline on most consumer ads for prescription drugs: “Ask your physician.” That is insufficient guidance unless your physician has ready access to a clinical geneticist or genetic counselor.
European regulation is 15 years old and the new directive is still being discussed. It will not be applied for at least 3 years. Meanwhile, do you know who is protecting us from inaccurate and clinically useless information?

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