It is something of a surprise that it popped up this way, but the establishment
challenge to Health 2.0 was going to start somewhere. And it appears to have started with two big states, New York & California ordering 13 companies to stop Gene Testing.
Karen Nickel, from the California Department of Public Health, argues that these companies are “operating without a clinical laboratory license in California. The genetic tests have not been validated for clinical utility and accuracy.”
But as those companies are outsourcing the testing anyway, that argument barely holds water. Here’s what Navigenics CEO Mari Baker said “Navigenics uses a doctor to transit orders and review results, and it relies on a state-certified lab testing company to do the gene tests.”
So what this really is about, of course, is who has the right to order a test? Is it you or do you have to go through a doctor? Or put another way, is it your DNA or is it the state’s?
Of course, with
the ability of Health 2.0, a direct-to-consumer service can help you
order a lab test and explain it to you. So why do you need a doctor if
you don’t want to use one?
The same thing
is more or less true with prescription medications. The argument in
that case is that only a doctor can manage your prescription regimen,
but countless studies show that’s a total lie — in practice doctors
barely manage their patients’ medication regimen. If they did we
wouldn’t have the crisis of polypharmacy complications that costs
hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
So this is a
case where the regulations are running way behind the technology, and
the trade protection organizations of health care providers are, I’m
sure, whispering in the ear of the regulators.
Oh, and then there’s this…
said its investigation followed a number of consumer complaints. "The
consumers were unhappy about the accuracy [of the tests] and thought
they cost too much," a spokeswoman for the department said
genetic firms should be damn concerned if their tests aren’t accurate,
and someone in regulatory terms should be checking on who’s doing it.
what business is it of the state how much they charge? And if pricing
is the issue of the state, how about they start with Exxon-Mobil!
think about one more thing. I had a complete set of lab tests the other
day. The cash price was over $400. For a similar set of tests in New
Zealand a few years back I paid less than one-third that amount — a much
bigger difference than the cost of a FedEx to New Zealand! So if I’m
checking my own data, why do I need an American doctor or an American
Categories: Matthew Holt