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ASHG Statement on Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing in the United States

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Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher(s): American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologsts

Author(s): Gail Javitt; Wylie Burke; Peter Byers; Kathy Hudson

Topic: Health (Medical research and technology)
Health (Licensing and regulation)

Keywords: Genetic testing; Direct-to-consumer

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


DTC genetic testing is a method of marketing genetic tests to consumers without the involvement of an independent health care provider. Potential benefits of DTC testing include increased consumer awareness of and access to testing.

In the current environment, consumers are at risk of harm from DTC testing if testing is performed by laboratories that are not of high quality, if tests lack adequate analytic or clinical validity, if claims made about tests are false or misleading, and if inadequate information and counseling are provided to permit the consumer to make an informed decision about whether testing is appropriate and about what actions to take on the basis of test results.

In Obstetrics & Gynecology, vo.110:6, December 2007, p.1392-1395.