Updated on 17 June 2013
The company counters that gene patents, by rewarding research, helps patients. "Scientific research has not been hindered. These are among the most studied genes in the world," said Mr Mark Capone, president of Myriad's laboratory division at a press conference, citing 18,000 scientists who have published 10,000 papers on BRCA.
Dr Stephen T Warren, human geneticist had raised doubts on the ACLU website about the 'education of the next generation of laboratory medical geneticists' when patents are held by one firm.
Apart from exerting strict monopoly over the BRCA test, Myriad had also set up a direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign. Genetic research scientist and director of Cancer Genetic Counseling at the Yale School of Medicine, Ellen T Matloff explained, "The company bills its DTC campaign as a 'public awareness campaign,' although it omits most of the information key to educating the public about BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing."
Further, her explanation to this that appeared first in The American Journal of Bioethics said that, "There are reports of an increase in the number of women whom have had BRCA testing without having genetic counseling by a qualified professional. Horror stories of age 20-something women being advised to find a man, get married, have children, and have their ovaries and breasts removed as soon as possible have been reported. Other women have been falsely told that their mutation was a normal result, that their normal result was a mutation, or that a variant of uncertain significance was disease-causing - all incorrect, all potentially leading a woman and her entire family to make drastic and perhaps life-threatening decisions based on a result misinterpretation. Myriad's DTC campaign shows that there is not much time remaining if those who might avail themselves of genetic testing are to be protected against commercial manipulation, masquerading as sound public health education."