Thursday, July 22, 2010

FDA Tuesday, Congress TODAY. More letters for DTCG.

I read with great interest Dan Vorhaus' post on the new letters sent to DTCG companies this week.

While it seems to me that these letters were probably planned beforehand, they may indeed be just trying to batch the "Publicized" I.E. Venture funded DTCG with the private funded DTCG. BEFORE, congress has a chance to sit down with the Big Money DTCG.....

I also disagree with his take that the FDA has worsened its position of trust with the LDT companies via these letters. In fact, what is going on as I speak with more LDT directors of labs, they are mad as hell. They are mad that these DTCG companies came in and screwed everything up in their nice little universe of LDT.

If anything, the FDA letters represent an effort to show clinically useful and ordered LDTs that they are siding with them and against the microcosm known as DTCG.

I think the Congressional Hearings on DTCG will prove the same here.

Back in 2007 when these companies launched, I expressed concern on my blog. I was concerned that these DTCG companies, which wanted to initially play down their clinical role, NITDOC loophole, would actually make the whole field look silly and create public distrust. I even predicted that this movement to "flip" a company I.E. "Create a revolution" may even lead to the death of personalized medicine

Unfortunately, that is exactly what has played out. At least the distrust part and definitely the confusion part. It appears the FDA is extending a lifeline to LDTs ordered by physicians and trying to amputate the DTCG arm of LDT.

LDT companies can either turn on the DTCG companies and devour them, thus saving themselves from onerous regulation or they can stay silent on DTCG at their own peril. This will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

One thing is for certain, what DTCG says or presents to congress will likely give lots of cannon fodder to the LDTs being used and ordered by clinicians and patients.....

Congress already has fodder to attack DTCG, they have been collecting it for a month. Wha? Those letters basically say "Give us everything. Tell us everything about how you funded and ran your companies. Tell us how you fixed your screw ups or didn't. We want it all. Emails, Texts, etc."

The Sherpa Says: This is not LDT vs FDA, this is Clinical LDT vs DTCG LDT vs FDA and The US Government. I think that if they fight it will be very ugly here. Congress needs to ask 1 question "Do you think you are doing medical testing? If not why not?"

Addendum: Video Sting from the GAO presented at the conference shows.

They are not only doing medical testing, they are giving medical advice.......

This industry is about to get blown up from the inside to protect the Clinically Useful and Valid labs. Those labs are about to feel the pain of a 2000 sample validation process......

1 comment:

Keith Grimaldi said...

As Dan says, most but NOT ALL companies targeted are DTC, some require a physician. So this is not just anti-DTC but is more like genetic exceptionalism, see Caroline Wright comment on the GNZ copy of Dan's post:

It would be helpful if the FDA clarified exactly what it is up to