The global direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing market is projected to expand at a healthy growth rate during the forecast period (2016 to 2022). Direct-to-consumer genetic testing encompasses various tests to detect genetic defects in individuals. Such tests are sold by pharmacies and online agencies. Companies manufacturing these kits rely on Internet, television, and print advertisements to make consumers aware.
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The market is driven by the growing tendency of consumers to gain insights into their ancestral origins. The increasing prevalence of chronic and autoimmune diseases and the ability of genetic testing kits to detect them at an early stage are expected to drive market over the forecast period. The market can expand by capitalizing on the trend of personalized healthcare. However, issues related to genetic privacy can restrain market growth over the forecast period.
Policies are being relaxed by some regulatory agencies providing relief to genetic test manufacturers. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently agreed to the commoditization of certain DTC genetic testing kits without the need for a pre-market approval. Carrier screening tests for selected genetic diseases were given approval to enter the market but genetic tests for assessing personal diseases were banned.
The global direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing market is segmented according to type, end user, and region. Types of products include restricted trait tests model, comprehensive genome tests model, genome data bank material model, medical precision tests model, and individual health planning model. Market end users are categorized into doctor’s office, Internet, and others.
Regions covered in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing market report include India, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. The North America DTC genetic testing market is expected to be the largest due to high consumer awareness in the U.S regarding genetic tests. In addition, importance of early diagnosis and rising cases of genetic diseases are predicted to augur regional market over the forecast period.
The Japan direct-to-consumer genetic testing market may experience a limited growth rate over the forecast period due to preference of consumers to wait for government regulations regarding genetic tests. The unreliability of DNA paternity tests has led to concern among Japanese citizens regarding its credibility. But pharmaceutical firms are trying to enter the market by partnering with licensed geneticists.
The Europe direct-to-consumer genetic testing market is projected a steady growth rate due to reservations among certain countries due to the veracity of DTC genetic tests. In addition, concerns related to privacy and sales of these kits via ecommerce stores have led to the government mandates for these tests to be conducted under the guidance of geneticists. But the permission given by the Netherlands government to sell tests that can detect cancer and chronic diseases has provided solace to the testing kit manufacturers.
Key players operating in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing market include 23andMe; Gene by Gene; deCODE genetics Inc.; Navigenics, Inc.; and Genetrainer. New product launches, collaborations, partnerships, and agreements are strategies employed by these players to gain an edge over their competitors. Recently, Foundation Medicine gained approval by the U.S. FDA for its tumor gene profiling tests. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies are expected to team up with orphan drug developers to create tests for rare diseases.
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