An isolated DNA coding for a BRCA1 polypeptide, said polypeptide having the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO:2.
"It’s as if somebody had a patent on the X-ray images of the pelvic region of a human being," says Weaver. "You could administer the test, but you wouldn’t be able to inform the patient about that region. It’s crazy."
The country's largest lab tester is Quest Diagnostics, which reported revenues in 2012 of $7.4 billion. Quest's operating income in 2012 was $1.2 billion, about 16.2% of sales.
But that's hardly the spectacular profit margin we have seen in other sectors of the medical marketplace. The reason is that the outside companies like Quest, which mostly pick up specimens from doctors and clinics and deliver test results back to them, are not where the big profits are. The real money is in health care settings that cut out the middleman - the in-house venues, like the hospital testing lab run by Southwestern Medical that billed Scott and Rebecca $132,000. In-house labs account for about 60% of all testing revenue. Which means that for hospitals, they are vital profit centers. Labs are also increasingly being maintained by doctors who, as they form group practices with other doctors in their field, finance their own testing and diagnostic clinics. These labs account for a rapidly growing share of the testing revenue, and their share is growing rapidly. These in-house labs have no selling costs, and as pricing surveys repeatedly find, they can charge more because they have a captive consumer base in the hospitals or group practices. They also have an incentive to order more tests because they're the ones profiting from the tests. The Wall Street Journal reported last April that a study in the medical journal Health Affairs had found that doctors' urology groups with their own labs "bill the federal Medicare program for analyzing 72% more prostate tissue samples per biopsy while detecting fewer cases of cancer than counterparts who send specimens to outside labs."
I'm torn on this because, at least with patenting, you have to publish enough of what you are doing so that other people can follow your lead mumble mumble years later. With trade secret things might never appear on the radar depending upon how careful you are and how viciously you defend your non-disclosure agreements.
Which is just a terrible phrasing. What does "human gene" even mean in this context? In my view, nobody is patenting a human gene.
Wow. Don't even get started on insulin. As a Type 1 diabetic, I think it's pathetic that after almost a century there's no such thing as generic insulin.
Furthermore, commercializing that research is turning out to be harder than some expected—you may have noticed the dearth of personalized medicine and gene therapies...
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