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Genetics companies start to speak up about “genetic discrimination”

Did you know that if you receive a positive result from a genetic test, you might not ever be able to get life insurance, long-term care or disability? Thanks to a legal loophole, these companies can ask about genetic information, and reject those that are deemed too risky.

I recently wrote an in-depth piece about how this form of genetic discrimination impacts patients. In response, I received a note from a spokesperson for the Huntsville, Al.-based DNA-testing company, Kailos Genetics. The company’s cofounder Troy Moore told me that 85% of customers who show interest in the Kailos’ tests end up changing their minds after they learn that they might never receive some forms of insurance. In his own words:

“When they (potential customers) learn about it, it really stifles the way they think about their own health care. Their immediate reaction is, ‘this is my information. Why do these insurance companies have access to it’?” 

Genetics discrimination stifles medical research, and it’s also proving to be a financial setback for companies. So why is it still legal? Read more here. 

Do you work at a biotech company that is concerned about genetic discrimination? Reach out to me on Twitter @chrissyfarr, or via email at cfarr@fastcompany.comCF