"In July 2001 Myriad issued a cease and desist notice in Canada instructing provincial governments to stop using any test other than BRCAnalysis to detect genetic abnormalities on the BRCA1 and 2 genes. Myriad’s patents give the company the exclusive right to perform diagnostic testing for BRCA 1 and 2 abnormalities. The patents have enabled Myriad to demand that all patient samples be sent to the company’s headquarters in Utah for analysis, which increases the cost associated with the test tremendously. The response of provinces to Myriad’s order has varied. The provinces that continue using tests other than BRCAnalysis risk facing legal action by Myriad."
Excuse me? A patent gives you the right to bar others from extracting revenues using the technology or method in question (ie a genetic test). It is obviously not a title deed granting the holder ownership of a piece of every human being's genome in every country where the patent is held. I think it's pretty obvious that individuals should have the right to use any means they choose to learn about their own genome.
Hopefully Canadian governments will follow through with the Canadian Cancer Society's demands and limit this ridiculous attempt by Myriad to commandeer the Canadian Patent System and plunder Canadian genomes. Maybe we also need to add explicit protection of personal genetic information to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.