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Ars Pharmaceutica (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 2340-9894


FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, María. Report on the Use of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test. Ars Pharm [online]. 2019, vol.60, suppl.1, pp.7-14.  Epub Oct 14, 2019. ISSN 2340-9894.

The Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Tests (TGDC) provide access to genetic information without necessarily involving a physician or any other health personnel in the process.

TGDC can promote public awareness of genetic origin about some diseases, as, by bringing this type of information to general population, and not only to a specific patient, society becomes more aware of them. Therefore, a healthier lifestyle, personalized medicine and promotion of self-care are also increased.

Nevertheless, being the principle of autonomy the main argument alluded to in favor of the unlimited access to TGDC, it is not possible to affirm that the consumer acquiring them, is truly autonomous. The companies commercializing them do not currently have a quality track on the predictive value of their tests. Therefore, the precautionary principle should also operate, by preventing damage to whoever is exposed, without having the necessary information.

The non-regulation of TGDC may pose a risk to the consumer for two reasons: firstly, the absence of pre and post test genetic counseling by qualified personnel in accredited centers - as established by the Biomedical Research Law 14 / 2007-, and secondly, the absence of a correct interpretation of the results by a professional can pose a medical and psychological risk to the user

If a consumer decides to acquire one of these genetic tests online, the test is directly sent to home, and he/she will receive the results of the test and deciding what to do with them. These new possibilities for medical-health information are associated to these new ethical-legal approaches to which it is necessary paying attention in Spain.

The community pharmacy, as a health center and organized structure, next to general population and involved in education, professional advice, and participation in health programs, become the perfect allies in matters of possible health regulation of the TGDC. The protocols and screening studies carried out in Spain make the current community pharmacy an advantageous option for the regulation of TGDC, integrating with the pharmacy as a private health facility of public interest, within the National Health System.

Keywords : Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Tests; Community Pharmacy; Dispensing Act; Health Policies.

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