ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court decided human genes are natural products that cannot be patented. This decision will have a profound impact on modern medical research, according to a local doctor.
Up until the Supreme Court decision genes could be patented.
Dr. Sherm Silber, director of the Infertility Center at St. Luke’s Hospital, has been waiting 30 years for this decision, saying it will hopefully lead to more affordable genetic testing.
“We need to be screening all our patients for BRCA and a lot of other genes, and we can’t because it has been made so expensive by this stupid patent office decision to grant patents to the discovery of genes,” Silber says.
He says currently some genetic tests, controlled by patent holding companies, cost up to $3,000 when they should only cost around $150.