Regulating Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests: What Is All the Fuss About?
Wright, Caroline F
Zimmern, Ron L
Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 2011 Apr; 13(4): 295-300
The number of genetic tests available direct-to-consumer has burgeoned over the last few years, prompting numerous calls for tighter regulation of these services. However, there is a lack of consensus about the most appropriate and achievable level of regulation, particularly given the global nature of the market. By consideration of potential for direct and indirect harms caused by genetic susceptibility or genomic profiling tests, in this study we offer an overarching framework that we believe to be feasible for the regulation of direct-to-consumer genetic tests and likely to be relevant to other forms of predictive testing. We suggest that just five key requirements would adequately protect the consumer: a proportionate set of consent procedures; formal laboratory accreditation; evidence of a valid gene-disease association; appropriately qualified staff to interpret the test result; and consumer protection legislation to prevent false or misleading claims.
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