Two direct-to-consumer genetic testing firms, 23andMe and Navigenics gained approval from California regulators this week to continue providing clients access to and interpretations of their personal DNA.
The NY Times reports this morning that, "The licenses, granted to Navigenics and 23andMe, should help defuse a
controversy that began in June when the California Department of Public
Health sent “cease and desist” letters to the two companies and 11
others that offer genetic testing directly to consumers."
The news sparked a heated summer debate over whether consumers should have unbridled access to their DNA or whether a doctor should lead the process.
Here on THCB, Matthew Holt called the move the "first establishment challenge of Health 2.0."
"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," Holt
Murphy over at Gene Sherpa,
however, argues that doctors must be involved and for more regulation
to ensure the quality and integrity of genetic testing.
"I am just shocked and awed that some in the public think that they
can do this on their own without professional help. Do you build your
own home? What about fight your own court cases? Some do their own
taxes … but only when it isn’t complicated. Trust me, this IS
California officials are satisfied that 23andMe and Navigenics meet
the doctor requirement. So looks like the debate is settled — for now.