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Wed Nov 7, 2018, 11:30 AM

23andMe's genetic test for how you'll react to medication is ahead of its time

Thereís not enough research to support the usefulness of these tests
By Angela Chen@chengela Nov 2, 2018, 12:49pm EDT

On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first consumer DNA test that promises to tell buyers which drugs might work best for them according to their genetic profile. The manufacturer, 23andMe, won FDA approval by being very careful not to overpromise what its test can doó so careful that the approval highlights the limited usefulness of the test and how much we still donít know about this field of medicine.

The test is related to a segment of medicine called pharmacogenetics, which is the study of how genes influence how we react to drugs. Variations in our genes can affect how quickly we break down a drug, how much we absorb, or how efficiently it gets to where it needs to be in the body.

The 23andMe test will tell consumers about 33 genetic variants that are associated with how well common drugs ó blood thinners like Plavix and Coumadin, for example ó work, but itís explicit that consumers should not change their medications based on these results. The test is only supposed to provide some potentially useful information that people can discuss with their doctor. To win approval, the company had to run a demographically representative study proving that 97 percent of users understand that the test is not a medical recommendation, says 23andMe chief legal and regulatory officer Kathy Hibbs. Itís not yet clear when the test will be available for purchase or how much it will cost.

Say you take the 23andMe test and bring the results to your doctor. The doctor still isnít supposed to suggest changing medication until they have you genetically tested again by an independent lab. ďIt seems to me that if a patient has an interest in their pharmacogenetic profile that could impact medication decisions, theyíre probably better off just asking the physician about what testing can be done, since confirmatory testing is expected anyway even if you got 23andMe,Ē says Boadie Dunlop, an Emory University psychiatrist who researchers biological markers that predict responses to drug treatments. (Dunlop is also a consultant for the personalized medicine company Assurex Health.)


Looks like the pigs in Big Pharma have won!

Stay the hell away from 23andMe ! They are selling the info. they are collecting to the powers that should NOT be involved!!


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Reply 23andMe's genetic test for how you'll react to medication is ahead of its time (Original post)
CountAllVotes Nov 7 OP
NorCen_CT Nov 7 #1
CountAllVotes Nov 7 #3
hlthe2b Nov 7 #2
CountAllVotes Nov 7 #4
nolabear Nov 7 #5

Response to NorCen_CT (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 11:40 AM

3. 23andMe is cheaper than ancestry.com

I don't know how they compare to others that are doing this.

I queried ancestry.com myself.

They told me that they do not sell the information and that it is private. If you opt to delete it from their site you can do that but you can no longer access ancestry.com after doing that.

Whether this is a good idea or not depends upon the why's of doing it.

In some cases it can be for life-changing reasons. Others just want to know more about themselves.

In any event, it is a Right to Privacy issue and if you find out they sold you out, I'd say sue the SOB's for doing this.

As for 23andMe, no thanks is right!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 11:37 AM

2. I cringe at how much they are bamboozling the public with UNVALIDATED tests.. I applaud their

"innovation", but they release tests, based not on solid science supporting their findings, but the opportunity to entice more clients and thus boost their $$ bottom line. While I believe in the direction the research is going and the future of genetic testing to drive therapeutic decisions, I would never encourage a friend or family member to use these tests. Stick with ancestry.com for heritage type testing and let the genetic health testing services take the necessary time and effort to validate their results with thorough follow-up.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 11:42 AM

4. +1,000 !!

No kidding! What gives 23andMe these rights?

Do you sign a privacy waiver when you do this?

Scary as all hell I agree!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2018, 11:44 AM

5. FYI I took part in a hospital research study for some of the same markers

and the overlapping results were the same. It was really cool to have suggestions about how meds might be tailored and my absorption rates, which side effects to watch for, etc.

My 23&Me test was years ago but it was consistent with family health issues (DVT risk, no Alzheimerís marker, etc.) and my PCP took it into consideration. Now Iíve got the new results and itís great to have this guide.

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