Study Shows Hospital Cost Savings Linked to Exclusively Human Milk-Based Fortification in Extremely Premature Infants

-- Prolacta Bioscience® Applauds Study Comparing Human Milk-Based Fortifier versus Cow Milk-Based Fortifier Fed to Infants Born at 28 Weeks Gestation or Less --

MONROVIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Prolacta Bioscience® applauds a recent study announcing the cost benefit of human milk-based human milk fortification for extremely premature infants that supports the movement in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide this population of critically ill infants with an exclusively human milk-based diet. The study concluded that a 100% human milk-based diet that included human milk-based Human Milk Fortifier (HMF) for extremely premature infants may result in a net savings of medical care resources by reducing the incidence of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), when compared with feeding these infants HMF produced from cow’s milk.

For the average NICU, this means that in addition to the health benefits of using exclusively human milk-based nutrition for extremely premature infants, there is also a significant cost savings. Extremely premature infants, as defined in the study, are those born at 28 weeks gestation or less. NEC is a dangerous and severe complication that often affects extremely preterm infants, in which the intestinal tissue disintegrates. NEC requires surgical intervention to remove the dead portions of the intestines in 20% - 40% of the cases. The fatality rate of NEC surgery is as high as 50%.1

The study showed the adjusted incremental costs of medical NEC and surgical NEC over and above the average costs incurred for extremely premature infants without NEC in 2011 were $74,004 and $198,040 per infant, respectively. Extremely premature infants fed an exclusively human milk diet including the only human milk-based HMF, Prolact+ H2MF®, had lower expected costs of hospitalization, resulting in net direct savings of $8,167.17 per infant. The study also found that extremely premature infants who were not diagnosed with NEC spent approximately 3.9 fewer days in the NICU than infants who were diagnosed.

The study was led by Dr. Joel Hay with the department of clinical pharmacy & pharmaceutical economics & policy, from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. “We conservatively estimate that the U.S. medical cost savings could be over $200 million annually and that hundreds of additional lives could also be saved each year,” said Dr. Hay. “Human milk-based fortification for extremely premature infants could potentially generate substantial net savings for Medicaid and other health care payers on medical care resources by preventing NEC.”

Prolacta Bioscience is the only company to provide a 100% human milk-based HMF for critically ill, premature infants in the NICU. Prolact+ H2MF is the only liquid HMF that has been clinically proven to reduce the odds of developing NEC in infants born weighing between 500g and 1250g.2

The objective of the study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a 100% human milk-based diet composed of mother’s milk fortified with a human milk-based HMF versus the standard of care. For the past few decades, the standard of care has been to use cow milk-based HMF for extremely premature infants in the NICU.

Other studies pointing to the benefits of exclusively human milk-based diets for premature infants in the NICU born weighing less than 1250 grams include a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, and a 2011 study announced by Johns Hopkins

About Prolacta Bioscience

Prolacta Bioscience, Inc. is a life science company dedicated to improving quality of life by Advancing the Science of Human Milk™. Prolacta creates specialty formulations made exclusively from human milk for the nutritional needs of critically ill, premature infants in neonatal intensive care units. It is the first and only company to provide a human milk fortifier made from 100% human milk, Prolact+ H2MF. They operate a pharmaceutical grade processing plant and have designed and patented processes that enable them to make their one-of-a-kind life saving products. Prolacta is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of the most vulnerable infants through world-class research and innovative products.

1 Schnabl KL, et al. Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A multifactorial disease with no cure. World J Gastroenterol. 2008; 14(14): 2142-2161.

2 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. 2009:156(4):562-567.


for Prolacta Bioscience
Loren Kosmont, 310-721-9444
[email protected]

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