At the moment, our genetic material can be patented or “owned” by biotech companies. This means they can hold a monopoly over them and accessing testing and treatments will become increasingly costly and slow. This is obviously not helpful for diagnosis, or the very difficult treatment decisions which a person must make once aware that they carry these genetic mutations.
This needs to change.
It's our genes. It's not ‘property’. Companies should not be able to own human genetic material. They should not be able to stop researchers using what occurs in nature to help find cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases.
Methods of testing or access to material for researchers need to be made as free and as easy as possible to speed it up and make sure we get the most innovative and the best health care in the promising new age of personalised medicine.
Cancer Voices Australia, and the many people living with cancer today, are calling for an amendment to the Patents Act which would exclude the ability to patent any human genetic material.
Can you help add more voices to the campaign against gene patents by sharing the petition on twitter (link) and Facebook (link)?
Let’s say no to gene patents!
Tweet to @JuliaGillard and @TonyAbbottMHR
Like many Australians I am concerned to learn that companies can hold a patent over human genetic material.
Allowing companies to own genetic material means our ability to be tested for these genes will become increasingly costly and slow. This is obviously not helpful for diagnosis, or the very difficult treatment decisions which a person must make once aware that they carry these genetic mutations.
Australia has a great history of research and innovation. Gene patenting will lead to restrictive practices whereas updating the law will mean more research and treatment options in the promising new age of personalised medicine.
I don’t want bits of my body, bits with my building block instructions written on them, to be commercialized by owners of patents.
It’s time for new laws which reflect what the community wants.
They are my genes and I say no to gene patents!