Pathway/Walgreens: Collect your DNA--$20 -$30; test your DNA--extra!

Wow--this is fantastic! For only $20 to $30, you can purchase--at Walgreens later this month--a saliva sampling kit (a couple of cotton swabs, aplastic container, label, postage-paid envelope, instructions). Great, now what?

For an additional fee of $79 to $249, you can actually have the DNA tested. 

In part because on-line offers of genetic testing kits have not gleaned much business, Pathway Genomics--a new company--will test the drug store market, hoping to make their money that way. 

Are you interested? Consider that the company is linked with Walgreens, so the data collected can be used to market treatments and drugs for the diseases supposedly being tested for. I say "supposedly" because we now know that nearly all disease tests touted in these direct-to-consumer products are actually determined by many factors, both genetic and environmental. The "answers" you get may or may not affect your future health--but will likely affect your emotional and psychological health, and will definitely affect your pocketbook. 

And, as always, I suggest: figure out what you will do with the results BEFORE you order a genetic test.

By the way, I have seen nothing in the news items that suggests that a doctor will be involved in helping you determine the implications of the test results.

Marie Godfrey, PhD

 

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