The reasons for the different costs between laboratories can be due to one of the following factors:
- Type of technology used in the analysis – for some tests where just a few DNA molecules are being analysed (for example just one gene) it is more economical to do Sanger sequencing, rather than NGS, and for that reason the cost will be lower.
- Turn-around-time – for some tests, there are several labs providing a similar test using the same technology. In these cases, the most expensive lab is usually the one with the shorter turnaround time.
- Comprehensive test – in some cases, you might observe a difference in price between labs where the tests seem to be the same. However, very often some labs provide a wider range of genes tested than others and for that reason alone these might be more expensive.
- Price of laboratory reagents – different labs will use reagents and machines from several companies which will have different costs associated to them. Also, it is common for companies to provide discounts on the reagents to the labs that use more of these (usually bigger labs) and some of these discounts are passed on to the users (patients), making the tests cheaper than in other labs. However, please note that there is no correlation between the number of tests performed by a lab and the quality of the data, and smaller labs are able to provide equally good data.