Front Pharmacol 2012 20;3:152. Epub 2012 Aug 20.
Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics, University of Otago Christchurch Christchurch, New Zealand.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA testing has grown from contentious beginnings into a global industry, by providing a wide range of personal genomic information directly to its clients. These companies, typified by the well-established 23andMe, generally carry out a gene-chip analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using DNA extracted from a saliva sample. These genetic data are then assimilated and provided direct to the client, with varying degrees of interpretation. Although much debate has focused on the limitations and ethical aspects of providing genotypes for disease risk alleles, the provision of pharmacogenetic results by DTC companies is less studied. We set out to evaluate current DTC pharmacogenetics offerings, and then to consider how these services might best evolve and adapt in order to play a potentially useful future role in delivery of personalized medicine.