I was reading an article today in More magazine, about the practice of ‘Gene’ patenting. I find it repulsive that a doctor or hospital, in the scope of charging patients for treatment which involves isolating and searching for a gene that makes them susceptible to the cancer —get to patent said cancer gene once patient dies, and then charge hospitals and researchers a fee in order to test or further study, said gene. Sometimes it gets worse… you have shit like this taking place. At first I thought about it and didn’t see an issue, other than the fact that it seems rather skeezy to ‘patent’ a gene. The article made a point that resonated with me, saying: “It’s like patenting the alphabet, and then charging people a fee, every time they speak.” Ultimately, it’s the sick or potentially sick person that ends up footing the bill for this sort of ass-hat-scientific capitalism to the tune of thousands. The woman in the article was found to have a growth, and a certain form a cancer ran in her family—yet do this day, she cannot get tested in order to know if she carries the gene, because the test is over $3000.00. If the gene that causes this cancer wasn’t patented, the price of test would be $300. 00
I was disgusted, mainly because in order to isolate this gene, research was required. Research that was likely conducted by a physician, who passed testing costs onto the patient. –hell, even if the testing was free (which, once the patient dies of said disease, it pretty much is) how the hell does the hospital and doctor, justify turning around and charging for their test methods and discoveries, without including all those involved in allowing them their findings, to earn something as well? It reeks, and I don’t like it. I have nothing against capitalism, I think if Pfizer wants to tell older men that the natural side effect of getting old is this “new condition” called Low-T, and make a medicine that caters to that crap…then go for it. No dude ever died, or was born with something debilitating, because he couldn’t afford a hard-on pill. Testing for destructive genes shouldn’t be so expensive that insurance companies refuse to cover it because it’s not immediately life threatening.