A report released by Cogent Research reveals that a majority of Americans support government involvement in the distribution of direct-to-consumer genomics-based tests. This and other findings are explored in more detail in the 5th edition of the Cogent Genomics, Attitudes & Trends study (CGAT™ 2010).
The CGAT™ study, based on a nationally representative survey of 1,000 Americans, reveals that 56% of Americans say genomics-based tests sold directly to consumers through websites, pharmacies, or other retail outlets should require FDA approval. Only 16% say the tests should be available without FDA approval, with the remaining 28% saying they are "not sure."
"Americans themselves admit they know very little about genomics-based testing, but their interest levels are high, so they are looking for someone to put a stamp of approval on them - in this case the FDA," said Cogent Research Principal, Christy White.
Not only are Americans looking for help from the FDA when it comes to DTC genomics-based tests, they anticipate reaching out to their primary care physicians as well. When asked to imagine that their personal genetic profile indicated they may be at risk for cancer, 84% said they would talk to their doctor as the next step in the process. Only 7% say they would not do anything with this information.
"Americans' willingness to reach out to their physicians is most likely borne out of their confusion regarding just what the results from a genetic test can tell a person. When given a list of five ways test results can be interpreted, responses were all over the map," added Ms. White.