Gene Patenting…Why the Controversy?

Gene Patenting was always a controversy and the very recent case is the one in which Myriad genetics, a private firm has applied for patents for two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 linked to fighting against diseases like breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Though this case is an American case the impact of it on the world medical research is very high and hence brings forth many controversies. If this kind of patents is given, then isolated gene for any researches from the patients will normally become the property of the company. There are lots of opposition regarding granting such patents as it will be having impacts on the various areas like hormones , stem cells, antibiotics, agricultural and environmental biotechnology.

Major claim against the Myriad genetics is that finding a new use of the thing without modifying it is not patentable. The idea of patenting a gene or a part of human body is alarming and in some cases harmful. The case can either be favourable to the corporations by granting them patent on the genes which can lead to the slow process of researches as well as leading to profits to the corporate or favourable to doctors and researchers working in the fight against breast cancer. Gene patent discourages scientist to conduct medical researches and hence can produce less cures to diseases.

There are many biotechnology firms favouring the patent system due to the financial gain involved in this. Since the humans doesn’t belong to any corporate the decision for this case will be very tedious task. The case is a crucial turning point in the cancer research and hence we can expect that the national importance and urgency will be taken care of and supreme court will come up with a decision favourable to the scientist and researchers.