One Million Strong, A Note from 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data. These new customers may receive health reports in the future dependent on FDA marketing authorization.

Today we’re announcing some big news. I don’t want this moment to go by without a note of gratitude to our customers and those who have been advocates for 23andMe over the years.

We have come a long way together.  Because of you we pioneered the use of personal genetics.  You are helping us establish a new medical era that is defined by wellness, disease prevention, and personalized care.  You also helped us create a novel research platform.  By leveraging online tools, social networking and crowd sourcing, and combining them with genetics, we created a platform that has set the stage to transform the way pharma companies and academics do health and wellness research.

We want to do more.

23andMe has raised more than $50 million in new financing with the goal of reaching one million customers.  To help us reach our goal, we are happy to announce today, that we are dropping our price to $99.

One million customers can be the tipping point that moves medicine into the molecular era.  Hundreds of you have written to us about how genetic information changed your lives and, in some cases, saved your lives.  We believe genetics should be an integral part of health care and we will work hard in the coming year to help genetics become part of everyone’s health and wellness.

A community of one million individuals will also benefit the world.  A genetic data resource of this magnitude has enormous potential to address unanswered questions related to the contributions of genes, the environment and your health.  Understanding these factors and their interactions could lead to major improvement in diagnostics, preventive medicine and therapeutics [Collins NATURE | VOL 429 | 27 MAY 2004].

This change is not just about a new price point for personal genetic testing. It is about an ambitious plan that could transform medicine for generations to come.

If you have questions about the new pricing please go to our FAQ or email your questions to customercare@23andMe.com.

 

 


  • http://www.drjessarmine.com Dr Jess Armine

    Thank you, thank you thank you!!!!!! Your test will allow me to heal my son!!!!

    Dr Jess Armine

  • Tom

    Congratulations and thank you.

  • Kasper

    So to be tested I have to pay $99 for the test and then $95 for shipping to Denmark?
    Obviously you do not want international customers..

    :-(

    • ScottH

      Kasper, Oh but we do want international customers. This is a great opportunity to get tested at a very low price. We’d love it if the shipping costs were not so high, but the the international shipping price includes 2-way shipping, handling, transportation fees, & customs duties. We charge only what it costs us.

      • Michel

        One-way shipping of a small package between the US and Europe is less than $20 (USPS priority mail), and custom taxes, when collected, are less than 30% of the items value (the saliva collection kit is probably worth no more than $10), so I can’t understand why the shipping fee to Europe is at least $70 more than what it is to ship to the US.
        Could anyone from 23andme please tell me if there are additional costs that I forgot?

        • Andy

          It’s not one way, it has to include shipping BACK to the US. Maybe there’s extra insurance too?

        • Ice

          Well, this service used to be $999 so the fact that it went down to 99$ is already a huge discount. I just got genetic testing done elsewhere, and it still came out to $699 for a much less comprehensive panel.

          And shipping within the US, insured with tracking is like $6.99 for a flat-rate.

          So, from experience, getting anything international with tracking is $$$ for even small items, since y ou need to either use EMS, or a courier (DHL, UPS, FedEx) which is expensive. So $45 each way to Europe is perfectly resonable.

          Especially since the USPS charges $60 for International Priority Flat rate with “limited tracking to major centres” $80 one way for guaranteed tracking start-to-end to Europe.

        • James Halliday

          My interested also lasted until I got to the shipping cost part – it believe it came up with $237 for the UK.
          The cost is ridiculous (try and even find a courier that charges that much). OK, this involves 2-way shipping, but I’m not even sure why this even requires an insured service. Both an empty tube, and an empty tube+my spit are both easily replaceable. More to the point, should the shipment go AWOL, then this isn’t something that can be financially reimbursed.

      • Jan Rychter

        I could live with the $95 shipping cost to Europe.

        But what I don’t understand is why each additional kit costs $57 extra on top of that. Seriously?

        I have never managed to send a package that small for that much money.

        • http://23andme.com Shwu

          Hi Jan,

          Shipping fees cover return shipping and any required customs or duties fees per kit. The cost reflects those fees and nothing more, though we continue to review ways to reduce these costs where we can.

  • http://www.kirkouimet.com/ Kirk Ouimet

    Thank you Anne and the team! Just bought two kits, one for me and one for my wife.

  • http://wizpip.com Phillip Parr

    This is great news for everyone who is curious about themselves on a genetic level, but I got my results two days ago – Such a large price drop is bound to raise eyebrows for people who have been recently tested such as myself; Is there anything to sweeten the deal for us, such as the next ‘upgrade’ free?

    • http://www.23andme.com Cheryl Whittle

      Hi Phillip Parr:
      There is a form on http://www.23andMe.com that allows you to file to get a refund of the difference if you bought it within a certain time span before the sale. You should check it out at the site…
      Cheryl Ann Whittle

  • Deidre Mercer

    Anne,
    I screamed when I saw your notice about the lower fee. Bless you!
    I have to wait until next to see you the money my car is in the shop & I don’t have any checks.
    Thanks again,
    Deidre

  • Tom Matthews

    Wish you’d include an initiative for the study of Multiple Sclerosis, with such a large base of genetic data now I’m sure you could find some valuable information as to the causes of MS.

  • http://yumabev.weebly.com/ Yuma Bev Ribaudo

    I did my 23andme.com last year, but wrote a story about it recently on my Parkinson’s Humor blog, which now has over 70,000 page views and reader’s from 130 different countries. Here is a link to the story: http://parkinsonshumor.blogspot.com/2012/12/23andme-why-i-spit-for-pd.html I hope it encourages more people to Spit for PD.

  • thixotropic

    Is this a permanent price change, or a sale price?

    • ScottH

      Thanks for the note. This isn’t a sale, but it’s not a permanent price either. It’s simply the price we are charging at this time.

  • Denise

    This is great news! I have been debating this for a while and with the new pricing, there is no longer any reason to hold off on ordering my kit!

  • mark jensen

    The overseas shipping etc seems prohibitive; I read FTDNA manages a much lower price; it would be great if 23andme could find their secret as they have a comparable product. Worse case scenario for the interest of the universality of the database, would be to somehow subsidize non-USA shipping, handling, duties etc., in my opinion and would help provide credibility to the 23andme mission. -Mark

    • ScottH

      Mark, Thanks for the note. We’re doing our best to keep our prices as low as possible. We’ve looked at the overseas shipping issue and at present this is what we feel we have to do to guarantee delivery, ensure both our and our customer can track the shipments and finally to make the whole process as fast as possible. We hope that with the new lower price, our service will be that much more attractive for overseas buyers.

      • Mark Jensen

        Thanks for the considerate reply. I hope your “hope” as above proves true!

        • RhondaL

          I was perturbed by 23andme’s international pricing (Australia), however in the long run it was cheaper and more expedient that FTDNA. With FTDNA It took over 4 weeks for test kit to arrive and the same time sending it back, we also had dramas with customs getting it out of Australia, their pricing did not include return postage. 23andme delivered to my door, i did the test and being in rural Qld when it cam time to return it I thought oh oh, we don’t have these carriers here! No dramas a local carrier collected it and dropped it off in Brisbane to connect with designated carrier. A week to get here and a week to back to the States! Well worth the money! I do wish the freight could have been cheaper for multiple tests though!

  • Joanna

    Do you have an estimate of how long this $99 price will last? I do not have the funds right now, but will in a few months. If I know that the price will go back up, I will try to borrow the money etc..
    I’m on disability and finding “extra” funds is difficult, and I have extra expenses now, but I also don’t want to wait too long and find the price has gone back up and makes it impossible for me to do this.

    Thank you for this price drop.
    There are many of us with chronic illnesses who have gone broke, and many of the tests that would be helpful are too expensive. To have a relatively affordable way to find out more about methylation and detox problems is a great help, and I already know a number of people who have been wanting to do this who now can afford it.
    I have also spread the word about this to my naturopath and her holistic M.D.
    Thanks again

    • ScottH

      It will be that price for the immediate future.

      • Connie Gray

        Could you define “immediate future”? end of the year, until March of 2013, the end of next year? Obviously the company wants people to feel a sense of urgency (I certainly did, I posted this everywhere and bought 2 kits!) but come on, “Immediate future”???

        • ScottH

          Thanks for buying the kits and for posting the new price. We’ve been asked if this is a “permanent price.” And what we’re saying is that we can’t guarantee that this is permanent. This is the price now. This isn’t a sale and the pricing will go beyond the holiday season, but as for when or if the price changes after that, we can’t answer that right now.

  • Viko

    When you order 2 kits from 23andme, do you recieve them as two separate packages or as one?

    • ScottH

      If you order them together they come together.

  • http://www.desolacapitalpartners.com Jose Ali Vivas

    I remember the initial price, close to $1k. At 10 times less it’s works for many people. 23andMe is a *pure* information company with a huge future and endless possibilities. Today I joke with my daughter [ biologist at Graduate Medical School in Texas A&M ] how could be the API [ Application Program Interface] for your DNA. Was fun ;)

  • Carl

    Wish you’d include an initiative for the study of Multiple Sclerosis, with such a large base of genetic data now I’m sure you could find some valuable information as to the causes of MS.

    I know a person who has MS and this would help.

    • A

      @Carl My grandmother had MS and passed away from complications of the disease. Based on 23andme genetic data for me, it was nice to learn that I am at lower than average risk for this disease.

  • Giselle

    Will current customers need to pay subscription fees?

    • ScottH

      Giselle, We ended subscriptions early in the year, there are a few customers who are still paying off their obligation. Once that’s done there will be no additional fees.

  • Kathleen Keane

    As my daughter passed away from brittle epilepsy last year and my other daughter has migraines, I am concerned for my grandchildren for the epilepsy genes. Is there any future program where we can list our exact concerns and be profiled for specific genes? Epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.

  • Rick Westerman

    Just snagged three of my relatives. I am at a Christmas gather and was showing them my, now old, 23&me results and they expressed interest. So I asked them if they wanted a Christmas present from me … the answer was yes. At $100 the present is significant but not out of reach. People feel honored but not overwhelmed by the present.

  • http://abdullahozcelik.com Abdullah

    Thanks for your unbeatable price! As others commented, it would be great if the international shipping were reasonably priced, too! (It costs $79,95 to Belgium..) And Turkey is not in your list of countries, any plans to include?

    This price is valid for the previous (V2) genotyping platform right?

    Since there is no subscription, are we going to enjoy access to all of 23andMe’s current features forever?

  • Linda

    Three questions: First of all, in the FAQS it says no subscription fees but then says you have to pay them off in 12 months so I am confused.

    Second: do my siblings (all girls) have the same dna?

    Third: If I want to know if I have African ancestry (I idenify as Caucasian) would this be indicated even if the ancestor was longer than five generations back (in the 1600′s for example).

  • Girish

    Hi there,

    The price drop is indeed great news, however, the added cost for international shipping is still going to be a huge limiting factor. This is unfortunate because it would be easier getting a million customers outside of the US. I’m sure this has been raised a number of times by prospective international customers so hopefully this you’re already exploring options.

    Another suggestion would be to maybe have a discounted price for group orders, for example, 10.

    Thanks!

  • Dr. G

    I have the same questions as Linda…

    1. In the FAQS, it says no subscription fee. Other statements on this website say that you “pay them off in 12 months”. I am confused also.

    2. Do my siblings (all girls) have the same DNA if we have the same parents (generally speaking, of course)?

    3. We have traced our family back to 1865 (slaves freed in America) and I am hoping to expand the information we currently have about our family ancestry. We are currently 6 generations alive. If I have African ancestry, would this be indicated if the ancestry is prior to 1865?

    • ScottH

      Hello, Dr. G,
      I’ll try to address your questions.
      • There is no subscription fee. The current price is $99. However, some customers purchased their kits prior to the price change and the price they paid included a fee with monthly payments for 12 months. Once they complete their payment, there are no other monthly charges.
      • Your sisters, and you, all have the same mtDNA they got from your mother. They also received different mixes of autosomal DNA from both your parents and this includes DNA from all branches of your family tree.
      • It’s likely that a test is going to give you a more complete picture of your ancestry. You are likely to find distant cousins, learn more about your maternal haplogroups telling you more about your deep ancestry. As to whether the test will reveal African ancestry that goes back beyond 1865, it is hard to say. We have found Hidden African ancestry in people who previously were unaware of that ancestry that likely goes back six generations or about 200 years. But at a certain point, that signal gets lost.
      Hope this answers your questions.

  • http://email sarahboyd

    any future plans for more information regarding lupus?

  • Kathy

    Rasmussen’s Encephalitis is growing with more kids diagnosed with this rare brain disease. The only cure is the removal of half the brain. It would be great to learn more about this rare disease.

  • Joe Blow

    Creating a gene database for researchers to use for future benefit of society is nice. But when are you going to allow people to be genotyped anonymously? If I don’t trust Facebook with my phone number, why should I trust you will all the information about any medical conditions I might have?

    • ScottH

      Mr. Blow, We take privacy very seriously. We are both bound by our own rules protecting our customers’ data privacy as well as federal and state law. We do not allow people to send in anonymous samples in part to protect people. We want to make sure the people we are testing are indeed the people who are registering the kits and consenting to have their samples tested. Customers also have the choice about how much if any information they want to share on the site itself and can remain anonymous if they wish. Please take a look at our privacy statement for more information. https://www.23andme.com/about/privacy/.

  • Tiffani

    My great- grandmother was 100% native american. Her daughter, my grandmother was adopted so there are no records of registration that I know of. I need to proof of how much native american I am in order to adopt my foster child of almost 5 years. I know this test won’t determine which tribe we are from but, will it determine how much native american I am?
    Desperate and fearful. Please help.

    • http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com CeCe Moore

      Hi Tiffani,
      The 23andMe test will give you percentages of your various ancestral origins. If your great grandmother was actually 100% Native American, then you would be about 12.5% Native American since we get about 12.5% of our autosomal DNA from each great grandparent.
      If this great grandmother is your mother’s mother’s mother, then your mitochondrial haplogroup (which 23andMe provides) can also reflect Native ancestry.
      However, according to my understanding, this test is traditionally not a court admissible DNA test, but perhaps it could help to strengthen your case anyway.
      Best wishes,
      CeCe

  • L.Hammond

    I was going to get three members tested but the combined shipping to Canada was prohibitive. Why are we being billed the same as International. It is cheaper to mail to Canada from the US than to Europe. Is this due to change any time soon?

    • JusMe

      I was just about ready to jump in and order until I saw that the shipping costs to Canada were more than 50% of the cost of the entire kit.

      I’m curious about the whole process, but not when simply mailing something across the land border is that expensive. I could drive and cross over cheaper than that!

  • DEBRA M. GOEBERT HORTON

    I am a 55 year old woman who was adopted by an Army couple stationed in Germany. I have been unable to find out any information about “ME”. I have waited until both parents have passed away to pursue my interest in ME. For some reason, the Army won’t release any information to me about my biological “parents”. I am hoping that this test will send me to the right avenue for my quest of identity. I would love to tell my two children who I am. I wish I knew how to find out who the biological “parents” are. I feel like I was a disposable “thing”. If anyone has any information to lead me to the right person, either the Army or adoptions in Mannheim Germany (1957), I would be forever indebted.

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