You Can Now Buy a Genetic Test at Rite-Aid

It’s not a whole-genome scan or a genetic genealogy test, but it’s still a DNA test from the drug store shelves. Soon you will be able to purchase a paternity test from Rite-Aid.

The test is being offered by Sorenson Genomics. According to an article from Monday’s New York Times:

“A company called Sorenson Genomics has started selling a paternity test kit through Rite Aid stores in California, Oregon and Washington. It appears to be the first time a DNA test is being sold through a major pharmacy chain.”

“The test, sold under the brand name Identigene, has a suggested list price of $29.99, though a reporter purchased one at a Rite Aid in Santa Monica, Calif., for $19.99. There is an additional laboratory fee of $119 to have the samples analyzed.”

The test comes with three sets of cotton swabs, allowing the collection of DNA from the child, alleged father, and the mother. The NYT article states that the mother’s DNA is optional “but helps strengthen the results.”

Discovering Biology in a Digital World asks: “Would the results from this test be legally binding?” I personally can’t imagine that the results would hold up in court. I think that’s why Sorenson Genomics labels the test as giving “peace of mind.” A commentor left the following from an business story: “The kit advises people wanting to test for legal purposes to call the company and set up a chain of custody for the samples, which would cost an additional $20.” Hsien Lei from Eye on DNA also left a comment to the post, adding that home paternity tests are nothing new, which is absolutely true – they’ve been around for a while. But now, for the first time, you can impulse shop, or pick one up on your way home from work.

There is more coverage at Eye on DNA and GenomeWeb.

4 Responses

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  2. Christopher 14 March 2012 / 1:46 pm

    I was wondering for this test since u have three sets of swobbs(father, mother, and child). And mother is optional. Do you all have anyone witness this proceedings? What if the father swabbs his mouth and his 4 year old son could you tell? For example, a guy just did this test and we all think he didn’t turn the 17 year female swabs in. Can you all tell the difference from a 17 year old female swab and 4 year old male swab? The results came back on email as 99.99% that the child was his. So you all send the results back through email vice certified mail? What all comes in the DNA package?

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