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Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting includes symposium on cost-effectiveness of implementing exclusive human milk-based nutrition for premature infants

Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan of Los Angeles General Medical Center will present published data showing EHMD adoption saved $1.8M over two years by reducing length of stay and parenteral nutrition use

DUARTE, Calif., May 3, 2024 Prolacta Bioscience, the world's leading hospital provider of 100% human milk-based nutritional products for critically ill, premature infants, announced today that Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan, professor of pediatrics division chief, division of neonatal medicine, Los Angeles General Medical Center and PIH Good Samaritan Hospital, will present published data on the financial and clinical benefits of implementing an Exclusive Human Milk Diet (EHMD) for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants during the 2024 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting on Saturday, May 4, 6:30-8 p.m. ET, in Toronto.

PAS connects thousands of leading pediatric researchers, clinicians, and medical educators worldwide to advance scientific discovery and promote innovation in child and adolescent health.

Dr. Ramanathan's presentation will summarize data published in the peer-reviewed journal Breastfeeding Medicine. The symposium, titled "Exclusive Human Milk-Based Nutrition: A Cost-Effective Way to Decrease Morbidities in Preterm Infants," highlights real-world cost-benefit analysis data from a Level III county neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) showing:

  • Adoption of Prolacta's EHMD in VLBW infants generated a $1.8 million cost savings (or $31.8K per infant) over two years by reducing mean length of stay by 6.3 days per infant and mean parenteral nutrition (PN) use by 6.8 days per infant, respectively.1
  • Combining the cost avoidance from improved clinical outcomes, the estimated financial impact over two years excluding insurance reimbursement was an estimated $913,840 ($16,032 per infant).1

"Our study demonstrates that implementing an EHMD can be a cost-effective approach in improving health outcomes for preterm infants," said Dr. Ramanathan. "We saw significant reductions in length of stay and days on parenteral nutrition, which directly translated to substantial cost savings for our NICU."

"This real-world experience at a safety-net hospital adds to the growing evidence that an EHMD is not only best for premature infants but can also be a financially prudent decision for neonatal care providers," stated Melinda Elliott, MD, FAAP, practicing neonatologist and chief medical officer for Prolacta. "We encourage PAS attendees to attend the symposium to learn more about the clinical and financial benefits of EHMD implementation." 

Register here to attend the symposium, including a panel discussion with Jonathan Swanson, MD, and Jenelle Ferry, MD, moderated by Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, director of clinical education and professional development for Prolacta.

Real-World Evidence Demonstrates Improved Outcomes and Reduced Costs
Extensive real-world data affirm EHMD adoption enables critical health improvements for premature infants and major cost reductions for hospitals. Analysis of 2019-2022 data from 3,000+ patients at 60+ U.S. hospitals found EHMD implementation improved health outcomes and reduced costs, generating a 2.6X dollar-for-dollar return on investment.2 Similarly, a 2023 peer-reviewed report found EHMD implementation resulted in a 3X dollar-for-dollar return on investment from a reduction in comorbidities and shorter lengths of stay among very low birth weight infants.3

The body of real-world evidence in support of human milk-based fortifiers (HMBF) is substantial. It has been clinically proven in more than 20 peer-reviewed clinical studies that compared to bovine milk-based fortifiers (BMBF), HMBF when used as part of an EHMD demonstrated: 

  • Lower mortality and morbidity 4, 5, 6
  • Reduced incidence of feeding intolerance7
  • Achieved adequate growth8,9, 10
  • Reduced incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)4,7,8,11
  • Reduced incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)4,,11,12
  • Reduced late-onset sepsis incidence and evaluations4,11,12
  • Reduced risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)4,7,13
  • Improved long-term outcomes such as neurodevelopment14,15
  • Shortened stays in the NICU7
  • Reduced hospital costs1,3,7,16,17
  • Achieved better growth in term infants recovering from surgery for single ventricle physiology (SVP)18

About Prolacta Bioscience
Prolacta Bioscience® is a global life sciences company dedicated to Advancing the Science of Human Milk® to improve health outcomes for critically ill and premature infants. More than 100,000 extremely premature infants19 worldwide have benefited from Prolacta's human milk-based products, which have been evaluated in more than 20 peer-reviewed clinical studies. Hospitals adopting Prolacta's Exclusive Human Milk Diet realize up to a 3X return on investment.3 Operating the world's first pharmaceutical-grade human milk processing facilities, Prolacta maintains the industry's strictest quality and safety standards, with over 20 validated tests for screening and testing human milk. Prolacta's manufacturing process uses vat pasteurization to ensure pathogen inactivation while protecting nutritional composition and bioactivity. Learn more at, on X, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Media Contact:
Loren Kosmont


  1. Tetarbe M, Chang MR, Barton L, Cayabyab R, Ramanathan R. Economic and clinical impact of using human milk-derived fortifier in very low birth weight infants. Breastfeed Med. 2024 Feb;19(2):114-119. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2023.0163 Epub 2024 Jan 30. PMID: 38294868.

  2. Data on file; hospital-provided outcomes analysis from 2019 to 2022.

  3. Swanson JR, Becker A, Fox J, et al. Implementing an exclusive human milk diet for preterm infants: real-world experience in diverse NICUs. BMC Pediatr. 2023;23(1).

  4. Hair AB, Peluso AM, Hawthorne KM, et al. Beyond necrotizing enterocolitis prevention: improving outcomes with an exclusive human milk-based diet [published correction appears in Breastfeed Med. 2017 Dec;12 (10):663]. Breastfeed Med. 2016;11(2):70-74. doi:10.1089/bfm.2015.0134

  5. Abrams SA, Schanler RJ, Lee ML, Rechtman DJ. Greater mortality and morbidity in extremely preterm infants fed a diet containing cow milk protein products. Breastfeed Med. 2014;9(6):281-285. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.0024

  6. Cristofalo EA, Schanler RJ, Blanco CL, et al. Randomized trial of exclusive human milk versus preterm formula diets in extremely premature infants. J Pediatr. 2013;163(6):1592-1595.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.07.011 

  7. Assad M, Elliott MJ, Abraham JH. Decreased cost and improved feeding tolerance in VLBW infants fed an exclusive human milk diet. J Perinatol. 2016;36(3):216-220. doi:10.1038/jp.2015.168 

  8. Huston R, Lee M, Rider E, et al. Early fortification of enteral feedings for infants <1250 grams birth weight receiving a human milk diet including human milk-based fortifier. J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2020;13(2):215-221. doi:10.3233/NPM-190300 

  9. Huston RK, Markell AM, McCulley EA, Gardiner SK, Sweeney SL. Improving growth for infants ≤1250 grams receiving an exclusive human milk diet. Nutr Clin Pract. 2018;33(5):671-678. doi:10.1002/ncp.10054

  10. Hair AB, Hawthorne KM, Chetta KE, Abrams SA. Human milk feeding supports adequate growth in infants ≤ 1250 grams birth weight. BMC Res Notes. 2013;6:459. Published 2013 Nov 13. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-459

  11. Delaney Manthe E, Perks PH, Swanson JR. Team-based implementation of an exclusive human milk diet. Adv Neonatal Care. 2019;19(6):460-467. doi:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000676

  12. O'Connor DL, Kiss A, Tomlinson C, et al. Nutrient enrichment of human milk with human and bovine milk-based fortifiers for infants born weighing <1250 g: a randomized clinical trial [published correction appears in Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Aug 1;110(2):529] [published correction appears in Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 May 1;111(5):1112]. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108(1):108-116. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy067

  13. Sullivan S, Schanler RJ, Kim JH, et al. An exclusively human milk-based diet is associated with a lower rate of necrotizing enterocolitis than a diet of human milk and bovine milk-based products. J Pediatr. 2010;156(4):562-7.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.10.040

  14. Bergner EM, Shypailo R, Visuthranukul C, et al. Growth, body composition, and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years among preterm infants fed an exclusive human milk diet in the neonatal intensive care unit: a pilot study. Breastfeed Med. 2020. 15(5):304-311. doi:10.1089/bfm.2019.0210

  15. Rahman A, Kase J, Murray Y, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcome of extremely low birth weight infants fed an exclusive human milk diet is not affected by growth velocity. Breastfeed Med. 2020;15(6):362-369. doi:10.1089/bfm.2019.0214

  16. Ganapathy V, Hay JW, Kim JH. Costs of necrotizing enterocolitis and cost-effectiveness of exclusively human milk-based products in feeding extremely premature infants. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7(1):29-37. doi:10.1089/bfm.2011.0002

  17. Data on file; hospital-provided outcomes analysis from 2019 to 2022.

  18. Blanco CL, Hair A, Justice LB, Roddy D, Bonagurio K, Williams PK, Machado D, Marino BS, Chi A, Takao C, Gordon EE, Ashrafi A, Cacho N, Pruetz JD, Costello JM, Cooper DS, & Cardiac Neonate Nutrition Study Group. A randomized trial of an exclusive human milk diet in neonates with single ventricle physiology. J Pediatr. 2022;256: 105–112. 

  19. Data on file; estimated number of infants fed Prolacta's products from January 2007 to August 2023.