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The impact of patenting on DNA diagnostic practice.

Clinical medicine (London, England)

Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator, Technology Transfer, legislation & jurisprudence, Patents as Topic, Licensure, Humans, Great Britain, Germ-Line Mutation, Genetic Testing, Genes, BRCA2, Genes, BRCA1

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      Patents on genes often cover the gene sequence and the link between a disease and mutations in a gene, rather than a technology for the identification of mutations per se. Normally, patents are important for encouraging the development of new diagnostic tools and kits, but there is evidence that they can have severely deleterious effects on the delivery of genetic services. The difference largely depends on the licensing policy of the patent holder. This article describes different ways in which patents are used in this context and how the effects may be mitigated.

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