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How Genetics Affect Business

Genomics Law Report's Allain Andry says advances in genetics ripple out through the business world and — through new laws, regulations, and uncertainty over patents — affect almost all businesses in some fashion. For example, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits health insurers from using a person's genetic code to deny coverage or raise rates, Andry says. GINA also now prohibits employers from using a person's genetic code as a reason to deny employment — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's anti-discrimination posters that detail all the protected categories like age, sex, and religion has been updated to include GINA, Andry points out. Another issue that's come up recently is gene patenting and intellectual property. The Myriad court case, though far from over, Andry says, could have far-reaching consequences once all is said and done. "Stay tuned to see if Congress can long avoid jumping in with new laws that will affect genetics-related intellectual property rights," Andry says.