Direct-to-Consumer DNA Testing and Product Personalization: One Size Does Not Fit All Genes


DNA tests, once only performed following healthcare prescription, are now available to the public for direct purchase online. This increased availability poses many regulatory and ethical issues. On the one hand, consumers feel more empowered and argue that they should be able to obtain their genetic information easily. On the other hand, critics of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) test expansion are worried that cutting out healthcare providers from the process might lead consumers to make suboptimal choices. Test result reliability has been questioned together with the loose privacy policies of DTC companies. This case discusses the growing trend of DNA testing and product personalization to prompt analysis of the influence of technology on marketing practices and allow students to reflect on whether business ethics will still prevail over blind profit-making.

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