A recent study produced by the pharmaceutical industry came up with a startling figure. It stated that “economists estimate that it takes an average 12 to 15 years to discover and develop a new medicine and, on average, it costs $800,000,000.” The same report estimate that “pharmaceutical companies are working on 1000 new medicines now in clinical trials” There are “for cancer alone, almost 400 medicines in the pipeline.” (DiMasi, 2003). The insane cost of pharmaceuticals and the time it takes to develop them are major deterrents to pharmacogenomics. The solution for this is to implement nutrigenomics on a greater scale.
Nutrigenomics offers a more natural alternative to pharmacogenomics, which can be laden with money hungry executives and unnatural pharmaceuticals. Instead of fueling the drug craze in this country, knowledge of specific foods and nutrients that are beneficial to certain individuals should be spread. Even before the advent of the Human Genome Project, it was well known that certain foods cause good or bad reactions on different people. Today, through advanced scientific research, we now know the why. It all relates to genes.
Pharmacogenomics and nutrigenomics both involve a substances reaction to a gene. However, the more scientists learn about our genes, the more they are realizing that it takes minor dietary adjustments to prevent a genetically inborn disease from occurring. Depending on the individual, increasing or decreasing such nutrients as dietary fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals can have pharmaceutical like effect on the person. Preventative measures can be taken by administering omega-3 fatty acids as well. (Munoz)
Nutrigenomics still requires genetic testing. Yet, once the person receives the information, they are free to buy the appropriate foods and supplements that they need, without worrying about going through a doctor and pharmacy.