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Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Genetic Testing News

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates gene patents
June 13, 2013 - The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that human genes are products of nature and therefore are not patent-eligible. The AMA strongly advocated for an end to gene patents, and welcomed the Supreme Court decision. Read the AMA press release and the full Supreme Court decision.

AMA, NOVA, and The Hastings Center Webinar on Personalized Medicine
Aug. 30, 2012 - The American Medical Association, in conjunction with NOVA and The Hastings Center, presented the webinar "Cracking your genetic code: Personalized, gene-based medicine." Based on the recent NOVA documentary "Cracking Your Genetic Code," the webinar will explored personalized medicine technologies being used clinically today, the perception of such technologies by patients and the ethical questions this evolving science raises. View an archived version of the webinar.

Brochure on pharmacogenomics developed by the AMA, Critical Path Institute, and the Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics
July 5, 2011 - The AMA has teamed with the Critical Path Institute and the Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics to develop a brochure for health care providers on pharmacogenomics.  Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic variations that influence individual response to drugs.  Knowing whether a patient carries any of these genetic variations can help prescribers individualize drug therapy, decrease the chance for adverse drug events, and increase the effectiveness of drugs. The brochure, intended for physicians and other health care providers who may not have extensive experience with pharmacogenomics, introduces the concept using a case-based approach. View an electronic version of the brochure. To request hard copies of the brochure, email pharmacogenomics@ama-assn.org.

AMA to FDA: Genetic Testing Should be Conducted by Qualified Health Professionals
Feb. 23, 2011 - In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the AMA called for genetic testing to be conducted under the guidance of a physician, genetic counselor, or other genetics specialist.  The letter was sent to the Molecular and Clinical Genetics Panel of the FDA's Medical Devices Advisory Committee regarding direct to consumer genetic tests prior to the panel's hearings on the topic, scheduled for March 8 and 9. Read more.

Gene patents on breast cancer genes ruled invalid
Mar. 29, 2010 – A United States District Court ruled today that the patents held by Myriad Genetics on the breast and ovarian cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are invalid.  The AMA submitted an amicus brief in the case, arguing that gene patents inhibit patient and physician access and hinder technology improvement.  Myriad is expected to appeal the ruling.

Clopidogrel label to include warning about reduced effectiveness in patients with genetic variants
Mar. 12, 2010 – A Boxed Warning has been added to the product labeling of clopidogrel (Plavix®), informing health care providers that patients who carry certain variations in CYP2C19 may not derive full therapeutic benefit from the drug.  View the updated label.

Warfarin labeling updated with pharmacogenomic dosing rages
Jan. 22, 2010 – The FDA announced today that the warfarin product labeling has been updated.  The label now includes expected therapeutic dosing ranges for patients with variations in the genes CYP2C9 and VKORC1.  View the new label.

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Myriad Gene Patents
Aug. 17, 2012 - For the second time, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld Myriad Genetics' patents on the isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  The AMA opposes gene patenting, and submitted an amicus brief in advance of the hearing, arguing that gene patents inhibit patient and physician access to optimal care.  The plaintiffs are expected to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. 

Improve your ability to identify patients at high risk for colorectal cancer
July 12, 2012 - The AMA has collaborated with the National Coalition for Health Care Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) to develop a Web-based educational program designed to improve the primary care physician's (and other health care providers') skills at assessing risk, genetic testing, risk communication and counseling, and surveillance for hereditary colorectal cancer. The course is available in both enduring and performance improvement formats, and CME credit is available to those who complete the course. For more information, please visit the NCHPEG Web site.