DUARTE, Calif., Nov. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New research demonstrates that an exclusive human milk diet (EHMD)1, including a 100% donor breastmilk-based fortifier, Prolact+ H2MF, manufactured by Prolacta Bioscience®, saves health care dollars while significantly benefiting very low birth weight (VLBW) infants compared with a diet that includes cow milk-based fortifier. The findings were announced today by Prolacta, the world’s leading hospital provider of 100% donor breastmilk-based nutritional products.
In the United States, preterm infant fortifier historically came from cow milk, which is associated with severe complications and adverse outcomes, including feeding intolerance, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and neurodevelopmental problems.2
This study demonstrated that replacing a cow’s milk-based diet with ana EHMD is cost-beneficial for hospitals treating extremely premature infants. Cost savings were shown to be $16,309 per infant, which was largely due to reductions in the risk of NEC and/or late-onset sepsis. When wider societal costs are included, cost savings increase to $117,239 per infant.3 These dramatic cost benefits were seen despite the initial increased cost of 100% donor breastmilk-based fortifier compared with cow’s milk-based fortifier.
“Previous studies that examined the economic impact of an EHMD were limited to the first few years of life,” said lead author Grace Hampson of the Office of Health Economics, Kings College London. “We looked to provide a more complete economic evaluation of the impact of an EHMD in the United States by including immediate costs of treatment as well as a broader range of subsequent clinical events and longer-term costs. The analyses show that an EHMD would lead to a significant reduction in cost for U.S.-based health care payers while improving health outcomes for premature infants.”
The article, titled “An Economic Analysis of Human Milk Supplementation for Very Low Birth Weight Babies in the USA,” was published in the journal BMC Pediatrics. The authors conducted an economic analysis of premature infants fed an EHMD with Prolacta’s donor breastmilk-based fortifier, Prolact+ H2MF, and compared it with those fed a diet containing a cow milk-based fortifier.
An economic model, based on a cost-consequence economic analysis evaluation, was used to consider the clinical effects of an EHMD as well as the costs to the health care payer, including hospital stay, follow-up from treatment and future costs, using a hypothetical population of 1,000 VLBW babies. The study suggests that an EHMD would lower treatment costs and prevent many expensive, adverse clinical outcomes such as NEC.
“It’s well known that extremely preterm infants are expensive to treat,” said Scott Elster, president and CEO of Prolacta Bioscience. “Now we have a more thorough understanding of the long-term economic benefit and cost savings afforded by an EHMD. This is welcome news to the clinicians who treat these vulnerable infants, the families who will care for them when they leave the NICU, and the communities and health systems that support them throughout their lifetime.”
Prolacta Bioscience® Inc. is a privately held life sciences company dedicated to Advancing the Science of Human Milk®. Prolacta is the world’s leading hospital provider of 100% human milk-based nutritional products that are changing the standard of care for extremely premature infants. In addition, the company is exploring the therapeutic potential of human milk across a wide spectrum of human diseases, including applications for infants requiring surgery for congenital cardiac and gastrointestinal disorders. Operating the world’s first pharmaceutical-grade human milk processing facilities, Prolacta leads the industry with the highest quality and safety standards for the screening and testing of donor milk. Prolacta is a global company with headquarters in Duarte, California, and can be found online at www.prolacta.com, on Twitter @prolacta, on Instagram @prolacta_bioscience, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prolacta and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/prolacta-bioscience.
1 An exclusive human milk diet (EHMD) is achieved when 100% of the protein, fat and carbohydrates in an infant’s diet are derived from human milk. This diet includes a donor breastmilk-based human milk fortifier.
2 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.
3 Hampson G, Roberts SLE, Lucas A and Parkins. An economic analysis of human milk supplementation for very low birth weight babies in the USA. BMC Pediatrics (2019) 19:337 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1691-4.