Intended for healthcare professionals


Scientists urge US Congress to reconsider bill that could allow genes to be patented

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 17 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4252
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Nine Nobel prize winners are among 83 leading scientists and physicians who have written to US legislators urging them not to rush through changes to patent law that could lead to the patenting of genes—and even of laws of nature.1

The scientists’ letter echoes concerns expressed in a previous letter sent to Congress two weeks ago from 170 organisations, including many US scientific and clinical societies.2

Both groups are alarmed by proposed changes that would rewrite section 101 of the Patent Act. The purpose of that clause is to prevent abuse of the patent process by people who …

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