Thursday, October 2, 2014

23andMe Canada

Last night I received several emails stating that various kits on my 23andMe account that have tested since the FDA ban on health results will now be able to view health results because we are Canadian. 

The email looks like this:

Your health reports are ready.

Katelyn,
We have great news. Today, we are excited to announce that our 23andMe Canadian product will now include health reports.
As a current 23andMe customer, you can access these new health reports at no extra cost. To view your reports, simply log in to your account and follow the activation instructions.


What will you be able to see?
In addition to your ancestry data and raw genetic data, you now have access to 108 genetic reports including information about inherited conditions, drug response, trait reports and genetic risk factors for various health conditions.
As we continue to pioneer personal genetics, we are committed to providing robust, reliable and actionable information to you.
Thank you for taking this journey with us.
--The 23andMe Team 
So, I was thinking this was a good thing, maybe get a few more people in Canada willing to get tested which means more matches.  In fact, I was all ready to title this blog post "Good news Canada!". Maybe get more Canadian cousins in my DNA Relatives, eh?

Then today I investigate a bit more and see that in addition to getting Health Reports, we are also getting a new price...$199. 

Now, to be fair, they are reducing the shipping cost which was insanely high.  Apparently the new shipping is $19.95 for the kit, $6.95 for each additional for Standard, or Express for $29.95 for the first kit, plus $6.95 for each additional kit.  The old shipping rate was about $60 for the first kit and about $30 for each additional.  

Also, the new Canadian price is in Canadian dollars.  So that takes a bit more of the difference in price away.  It does still end up more expensive now ($40 or so per kit) for Canadians to test than it was before the change.

The higher price has ruined my enthusiasm for this change.  I personally don't care at all about the Health Reports.  I did look at mine, since it was there, but I spent maybe an hour on that versus the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of hours I have spent on the genealogy features.  

It did seem that the Heath Reports were getting people to test who wouldn't have just for the genealogy aspects of the service, and, for me, this was a good thing.  Some of the people who have tested, primarily for me for genealogical reasons, were more interested in the Health Reports, but they didn't spend too much time on them either.

I do feel they should have been allowed to continue to offer the Health Reports to Americans.  I believe people have a right to know about their own genetic makeup, whether that be the health or genealogy aspects.  We don't need to be protected from the truth, or even from possible truths.  

I should mention, that although the email said I could view Health Reports, when I clicked the link, I can NOT in fact view the Health Reports for Katelyn!