The impact of gene patents on fostering innovation is a highly debated topic. The arguments surrounding patenting and intellectual property in the health sciences are nuanced and complex. One of the most fervent arguments against the patentability of genes stems from the notion that facts and products of nature are not patentable, and a private company should not own or control information about our bodies. When the U.S. Supreme Court heard AMP vs. Myriad Genetics, a case that challenged the validity of gene patents in the U.S., several attempts were made to define where natural processes end and human ingenuity begins. Should human DNA be patentable? Are gene patents good for innovation and health care? With much of the discussion revolving around the economic implications of gene patenting, are we losing sight of the primary goal of drug development: to treat patients and meet unmet medical needs in a safe and accessible way?
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