Gene patent suit stirs medical community

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 14, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Gene patents, if allowed to stand, threaten to chill medical research and treatment options. That's according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in August by the Litigation Center of the American Medical Association and State Medical Societies, the Medical Society of the State of New York and several other medical organizations.

The underlying case was sparked by a lawsuit that the Assn. for Molecular Pathology and other medical organizations, researchers and patients filed seeking to invalidate Myriad Genetics' patents on a pair of genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Organized medicine has argued that such patents violate legal precedent barring the patentability of laws of nature. The case also has attracted the attention of biomedical firms that, along with Myriad Genetics, say such patents are legal and necessary to garner the financial investment needed to spur new medical research.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn