FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 13, 2013
AARP Reacts to Supreme Court Decision in Gene Patent case
Washington, DC – AARP Legislative Policy Counsel David Certner offered the following statement today in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Myriad gene patent case. AARP Foundation Litigation filed an amicus brief in the case.
“AARP is pleased with the Supreme Court decision in the Myriad genetics case. Gene patents significantly elevate costs of the important tests to consumers and reduce public access to them.
“Myriad Genetics has held an exclusive patent on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and the monopoly has led to Myriad charging more than $3,400 for its genetic test related to a predisposition to develop breast and ovarian cancer. The high costs not only present an obstacle to access to the tests, but also prevent consumers from getting second opinions to confirm the validity of test results.
“And the patent has blocked the study of the genes by other labs.
“Limitations on the study and public access to genetic tests are important because genetic diagnostic tests can determine how a patient will respond to a specific drug or a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s, heart disease, hearing loss, other cancers, and a variety of other illnesses.
“AARP consistently has opposed the exclusive patent by Myriad, filing five amicus briefs – three of which were in the Supreme Court – urging the courts to reject patents on human genes. We continue to believe strongly that such patents are not in the consumer’s - or public’s - interest.”
Here is the AARP brief:
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.