Larry Downes, author of Big Bang Disruption and one of our major influences, has a great piece in Wired on the FDA’s actions against genetic testing company 23andMe. Similar to our recent op-ed in USA Today, he argues:
When technologies improve exponentially, many industry incumbents — and the regulators who oversee them — are kept constantly off-balance. That’s because incumbents have been indoctrinated by a generation of academic literature and MBA training to ignore disruptive products until they had a chance to mature in the market, assuming they would first appear as cheaper but inferior substitutes that would only appeal to niche market segments.
Doctors — who are also incumbents in this situation — are struggling to respond to disruptive medical technologies that change the power dynamic in the patient relationship. Several 23andMe users have reported taking the FDA’s advice of reviewing their genetic results with their physicians, only to find the doctors unprepared, unwilling, or downright hostile to helping interpret the data.
While Downes is right that the FDA is merely delaying the inevitable shift in genetics technology, that doesn’t mean we should take their actions lying down. Demand a reversal of the FDA’s overreach by signing our 23andUs petition today.