Monday, February 7, 2011

Not Medicine as Food

For several years, Dr. James Gordon at the Center for Mind Body Medicine has been training healthcare professionals about food during his Food As Medicine conference. Dr. Gordon is a world-class educator and author and developed this program to help clinicians incorporate food into a healing solution for their patients. The foundation of this program centers on our ability to heal our bodies and keep them healthy with the foods we choose to eat.

Contrast this with an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about Nestle's purchase of a "Medical Food" start-up. The company, CM&D Pharma Ltd., is testing a chewing gum to help kidney-disease sufferers. The WSJ article quoted the Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke who said, "This has huge potential. It is going to be multi-billion." For the record, the FDA considers medical foods different from drugs. Which means the regulatory and administrative burden of bringing these "medicines" to market will be significantly lower. I'm a bit confused how a division called "medical-foods" would not be subjected to the same scrutiny as drugs, but perhaps I'm naive.

Dr. Gordon and his team teach health professionals to use whole, natural foods to help people heal. Dr. Gordon doesn't charge "multi-billions" for his program. I wonder... how much good could we do in this world if we invest in programs like Food As Medicine instead of spending millions to create medicine as food products to then sell for billions to the unsuspecting consumer?

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