The Human Genome cannot be patented

Ana Cuenda

What direction is biomedical research now taking?

It means a great advance for scientists because they will have the possibility to research the mentioned genes more freely—some of which are involved in cancer-related diseases— which I expect will result in therapeutic applications for patients.

What changes did the sentence produce in the field of cancer research?

In general, removing the obstacles the patents of human genes represent speeds up scientific processes, which will develop further and faster, because this restriction disappears.

The pharmaceutical industry keeps claiming that without the protection of Intellectual Property «it will be more difficult to attract investors for researching cancer because patents guarantee recouping that investment». What is your opinion about that?

I think this claim can somehow be true for pharmaceutical companies, but I think it is quite the opposite in the long term. The more knowledge generated about cancer, the more profits they can make, because this way research is not limited to only a few scientists.

Although we know it is not legal anymore, is patenting the human gene ethical?

My personal opinion is it is not ethical, it is something that should be accessible for everybody, because everybody gets sick and has the right to be healed. Although it could be understandable that for them it is just business and that they want to obtain a profit.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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