As the South Korean government has decided to expand direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing, the local DTC genetic testing market is expected to grow at a rapid pace.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare had a meeting with the Korea Genome Industry Council on April 9. There, the ministry decided to permit genetic testing with regard to certain diseases and healthcare in response to council member companies’ request.
Under the circumstances, the member companies are expected to end their boycott against the government’s pilot project for DTC genetic testing certification, which kicked off on April 10 from its application procedure. The council is currently collecting opinions from its 22 member companies.
DTC genetic testing can be defined as a genetic testing service provided by a company and involving no medical institution. The pilot project is to allow certified companies to handle more testing items. Earlier, the government proposed an increase in the number of such items from 12 to 57 but council member companies objected to the proposal, claiming that the 57 do not include any disease-related item consumers are particularly interested in.
The ministry is planning to receive applications until April 16 and select participants this month. Evaluation and pre-certification procedures are scheduled to be completed in September.