Buying the Hype
As consumer genetic testing becomes cheaper and easier to access, medical professionals worry that unregulated Internet marketing may steer patients in the wrong direction
Michael Schubert |
To most medical professionals, the questionable nature of consumer genetic testing seems self-evident. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for members of the general public, who – without an advanced education in molecular biology or oncology – lack the ability to critically evaluate the marketing of those kinds of tests. It’s a major concern, then, that the Internet marketing of these services is unregulated; commercial testing companies can make whatever claims they choose, which leads to wide variation in how their services are presented to the public. As a result, many physicians are concerned about the challenge this variation poses both to them in lifting the veil of confusion for their patients, and to the patients themselves, who are trying to make the best possible decisions for their own care.
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