GENETIC TEST MARKETING
ANCHOR LEAD: A NUMBER OF STATES ARE INVESTIGATING A GENETIC TESTING COMPANY THAT’S ADVERTISING DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Should a genetic test that predicts breast cancer risk in a small subset of women be marketed directly to consumers? That’s the question a number of states attorneys are asking in their investigation of the company that makes the test, saying the company is preying on women’s fears regarding breast cancer in order to make money. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.
PARK: I think the use of genetic tests has to be done with extreme caution. There are a lot of caveats to these tests, there are a lot of potential pitfalls to these tests that the patient and their family and loved ones need to be aware of, and I don’t think that that type of counseling and guidance can come from the company that produces the test. There’s a potential conflict of interest right there and in my mind, general recommendations for screening for BRCA 1 and 2 is not indicated. :28
Talk with your doctor about your risk and whether such testing is appropriate. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.