To Quote Diane Sawyer "Is there any way that they could just report the diseases you can prevent?"
That was on Good Morning America today. I swear 23andME's PR firm has a plant in ABC.
So let me explain the clinical scenario. A woman walks into the OB's office carrying 30 pages of information on 90 different diseases. The super swamped OB has 15 minutes for the patient. In that time they need to go over sexual history, health history, anticipatory guidance regarding possible pregnancy, maybe perform a pap smear.....and suddenly, the OB gets ambushed with a 30 page hand out......
The Patient "Umm I was wondering, if I have a 1.37 Odds Ratio of having a heart attack, could I prevent my baby from having this?"
That is the story with 23andMe's new push for samples to sell to third parties....... errr sorry, I mean customers err......sorry I mean democratizing genomic testing.
That's right, they are going after pregnant women or women looking to become pregnant. In a move to fuse thenest.com with 23andME, in a hope to gain further samples by having women with a huge motive to protect their future, get DTC testing which in some cases may be clinical testing and in others, not at all..........
I am very happy this company has the PR power to motivate people to explore genetic testing options. I am not happy that they could pitch this as some sort of prenatal testing.
That being said, the OB community has been notoriously slow with some genetic testing, while amazing rapid with some others (SMA). And the OB often doesn't have the time or training to describe these clinical tests. Which may make this situation even more loaded with googling your genes.......
The Sherpa Says: I like alot of people am very mixed about this whole dump money into tests that may not be useful, but build the hype of genetic utility in order to "educate". On one hand it raises some awareness, on the other it may cause over utilization of medical tests or plain taking advantage of unsuspecting customers.....Time will tell what good the 2 gals at 23andME have done.......At least I already know all of the good that less than 1000 geneticists have done over the last half century. I put my money on THAT horse ALL the time.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009