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April 24, 2013

Current Events April 24

Posted in: Normal

Can Genes Be Patented?

Daiki

Period 4/7/8

Mr. Healy

In reply to the article on if pharmaceutical companies should have the right to patent human genes, in reality, they should, but not too strictly. They have the right to make money out of it, but not gobs and gobs of money from just one test of two human genes. If the price of purchasing one test to see if you have cancer decreased, then more and more people will buy it, thus gaining more money.  4000 dollars for just two genes seems a bit too much. 2000 dollars will be better as more and more people will be willing to test to see if they have cancer or not. When the price is lowered, then more doctors and researchers will be willing to buy the test, and possibly work with Myriad.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/42156072@N00/47457221/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/42156072@N00/47457221/

Another reason why Myriad should have the right to patent 2 genes in our bodies is because they spent 500 million dollars to develop the BRCA testing, and was accomplished by the 18000 researchers that were involved. That is a lot  of money and work to develop a test for just 2 genes in us. They deserve their money back. Steve Jobs did not make the iPhone to give it out for free. The developers of both companies worked extremely hard to make their separate breakthroughs.

But then think about the millions of people who need to check if they have cancer or not. This is not the iPhone. This may be life and death for some people. This is one reason why the price, as stated in the article, should not be as high as 4000 dollars. It is like saying that the super0rich can live while the normal cannot. Lowering the patent price will allow more people to have access to the test, making more money and saving more lives.

Many great arguments are coming from both sides. The article states that the plaintiffs challenged:

“Under this rationale, a kidney ‘isolated’ from the body would be patentable, gold ‘isolated’ from a stream would be patentable, and leaves ‘isolated’ from trees would be patentable.”

This is a great argument, but it is also saying that Myriad cannot make profit from something that they spent 500 million dollars to research. They should get their money back for all the hard work that they did, but not too expensive so that only the rich can afford it.

In conclusion, Myriad should be able to take at least some profit form their 500 million dollar break through, but to not make it too expensive. This is the “crystal ball” for possible cancer patients, and will save thousands of lives, if only more people can afford it. 4000 dollars for just testing 2 genes is way too much, and not many people in America can afford it. Lower it, and more people will buy it. The argument continues.


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