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Direct-to-consumer genetic test kits coming soon to a drug store near you

Shoppers who go to the drug store to fill their Plavix prescriptions or pick up a bottle of prenatal vitamins may soon find themselves reconsidering these mundane purchases.

The reason? A new genetic testing kit that will hit the shelves of select Walgreens stores later this month. The test could potentially tell you that taking Plavix increases your risk of heart attack or stroke, or that your baby could inherit a fatal genetic disease.

Companies such as 23andMe and Navigenics have been selling testing kits directly to consumers over the Internet for years. But a San Diego-based start-up firm called Pathway Genomics announced Tuesday that it would offer its Insight Saliva Collection Kits at Walgreens for $20 to $30 (the exact price has not yet been determined).

The kit includes directions for collecting a sample of spit and a pre-addressed, postage-paid envelope in which to ship the sample back to Pathway’s lab. Customers would then go to the company’s website and order up to three genetic tests.

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