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Genetic Tests Will Be On Sale At Walgreens

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Aired 5/11/10

San Diego based Pathway Genomics will bring genetic testing to consumers though a partnership with Walgreens stores.

— San Diego-based Pathway Genomics will bring genetic testing to consumers though a partnership with Walgreens stores.

People who shop at Walgreens will be able to by a genetic test kit, spit in a cup, and mail it to Pathway Genomics. The company then does DNA tests to see whether people have bad reactions to certain drugs or whether they're at greater risk for certain diseases. Consumer genetics is a growing field. Genetic researcher Eric Topol of Scripps Health said gene markers are quite valuable for testing sensitivity to some drugs. But he said gene tests cannot yet determine whether you really are at high risk for heart disease.

"It's good for consumers to get genomically oriented," said Topol. "But it's still premature to bank too much on data that comes from one of these genomic analyses."

A spokesman for Pathway Genomics says customers will have free access to genetic counselors to help them interpret the results of their tests.

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