The Supreme Court ruling last week that human genes cannot be patented focused primarily on ovarian & breast cancer. This could also have a significant impact across the medical community, including Lyme Disease (LD). Patents from the past & present are no longer valid. The video above explains how the patent process was originally created. This ruling opens the doorway to more research & greater competition between the companies that currently hold a monopoly, leading to lower prices for the consumer.
1980 – The United States allows government institutions & universities to patent & profit from live organisms.
1981 – The LD organism was discovered and people rushed to patent a piece of the Lyme organism. This led to people hoarding information in the interest of their own future profits. Many of the patent holders perform research funded by the federal government then privatize their findings. Commercialization drove the research agenda, not what is medically useful or or necessary.
2013 – The Supreme Court decides that human genes can not be patented. They ruled that unlike drugs or medical devices, human genes cannot be ”created” by companies and therefore cannot be patented . This could create competition between the companies & that will ultimately drive prices down for the consumer. Those of you reading this blog in the US will likely be affected in some way by this Supreme Court decision.