Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: a comprehensive view

Yale J Biol Med. 2013 Sep 20;86(3):359-65. eCollection 2013 Sep.


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing refers to testing sold directly to consumers via the Internet, television, or other marketing venues without involving health care professionals. As the recent Supreme Court ruling eliminated the patentability of human genes, this rapidly evolving segment in the laboratory testing industry is starting to attract increasing scrutiny by government, scientists, consumers, and other interested parties. This article provides a panoramic view of the DTC genetic testing industry, including reasons for seeking DTC testing services, benefits and concerns associated with the industry, and potential development and prospects of this relatively new market under the current regulatory environment.

Keywords: DTC; consumer genetics; consumer testing; direct-to-consumer; genes; genetic marketing; genetic testing.

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Testing / ethics
  • Genetic Testing / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genetic Testing / trends
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Public Health