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AMA: Human Genes Should Not Be Considered Property

For immediate release:
April 4, 2011

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
Immediate Past President, American Medical Association

"The American Medical Association believes that overly broad gene patents must be reined-in to preserve scientific discovery and patient access to high-quality medical care.

“In support of this position, the AMA joined with other health care organizations to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals in defense of the groundbreaking federal court ruling that invalidated patents held by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

“Genes are products of nature and have never been patent eligible. Human gene patents conflict with long-standing principles of medical ethics regarding the sharing of natural scientific information to further advance science, technology and medical care.

“The care available to patients should not be restricted because a part of human biology has been inappropriately patented. Opportunities for scientific research and medical care based on human genes must remain available to all and exclusive to none.”

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Contact:
Robert J. Mills
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-5970
robert.mills@ama-assn.org

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