It’s been a tough week for the personal genomics testing marketplace. First there were two long days of FDA meetings, and then today an Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings where the GAO announced the results of a “sting” operation into direct to consumer (DTC) genomics companies. Below is the (brutal) GAO video. As Daniel MacArthur has pointed out, today there exist both legitimate and not-so-legitimate testing firms, but the GAO has lumped them all in together, which will make it easier for pro-regulatory forces to get their hooks into the industry. I urge you to read MacArthur’s entire analysis here, since he follows the industry closely and is saddened by the fact that:
The momentum seems to be well and truly in favour of the bureaucrats now. The prospect of increased regulation (specifically from the FDA) seemed to be enthusiastically received by the Committee today; there was explicit mention of increased money for the FDA to support such a move. The shape of this regulation is as yet unclear, but I’m now extremely pessimistic about the industry’s prospects of escaping excessive, innovation-crushing regulation in the US.
This is very bad news for those of us who wish to see personal medicine flourish.