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Annu Rev Med. 2012;63:23-33. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-062110-123753. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: perceptions, problems, and policy responses.

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Faculty of Law and School of Public Health, Health Law and Science Policy Group, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2H5, Alberta, Canada.


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has attracted a great amount of attention from policy makers, the scientific community, professional groups, and the media. Although it is unclear what the public demand is for these services, there does appear to be public interest in personal genetic risk information. As a result, many commentators have raised a variety of social, ethical, and regulatory issues associated with this emerging industry, including privacy issues, ensuring that DTC companies provide accurate information about the risks and limitations of their services, the possible adverse impact of DTC genetic testing on healthcare systems, and concern about how individuals may interpret and react to genetic risk information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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