Prescription drugs are widely appreciated by both physicians and patients alike as important weapons in the treatment of human disease. In contrast, the increasingly important and often complementary category of therapeutic agents known as medical foods remains a largely misunderstood component of todays healthcare armamentarium. Moreover, despite being governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there remains much confusion as to what is required to bring a medical food to market. In this brief communication, we will take a look at the history of medical foods, how they are distinguished from drugs and nutritional supplements, and the FDA rules under which they must be developed and used.
Last date updated on July, 2014