Most insurers still determine coverage on a case-by-case basis, but two major payers now have coverage policies that are helpful to clinical labs that perform WES
Whole exome sequencing (WES) is not new for clinical pathologists, but it is becoming more common in a clinical setting as more physicians learn about its uses.
This is due to two reasons. First, researchers are identifying new ways to use whole exome sequencing to improve patient care. Second, the cost of whole genome sequencing continues to fall at a steady rate, making it ever more affordable to use in clinical settings.
As recently as 2009, WES was prohibitively expensive and there was little possibility that insurers would cover the cost of the test, as it was considered experimental. Now, however, evidence is mounting that it is an effective diagnostic tool. Therefore, more payers are announcing coverage for WES for an expanding number of diagnostic purposes. (more…)
Pathologists already find it difficult to obtain gene patent licenses needed to offer multi-gene molecular diagnostic tests
Patents on human genes are a major issue in pathology and clinical laboratory testing. Now a new report based on the study of the positive and negative consequences of gene patenting comes to the conclusion that patents on human genes tend to deter competition in the gene testing market more than they encourage further development of new technologies for measuring the risk of disease.
Medical science is on the brink of mainstreaming genetic discovery into patient care. But patents and exclusive licensing threaten to fragment ownership of the human genome and derail the promise of personalized medicine for everyone, observed James P. Evans, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Genetics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, in his commentary on a new report from Duke University that focused on the impact of patenting and exclusive licensing of human genes.