Our office has participated in research for a 30 cal infant formula that is heading to the market in 2021. Nutricia is calling the formula Fortini. Link to website: Fortini (I have no financial ties/interest to this product or company).
I think having a commercial high calorie infant formula is advantageous and overcomes some of the limitations of concentrating infant formulas. Advantages:
- This formula will eliminate problems with incorrect mixing and contamination. Despite careful oral and written instructions, many parents incorrectly prepare high calorie formulas
- This formula, compared with concentrating a standard formula, is likely to have improved tolerability (less hyperosmolar) and better nutrient balance (eg. proper protein content)
The main potential disadvantage is going to be cost. I do not know the cost of the new formula but would be surprised if it is not significantly higher than concentrating a standard formula. At the same time, if the formula is able to improve tolerance and improve poor growth, there could be ‘downstream’ savings with less medical intervention/hospitalizations.
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Dr. Hochman, I love reading your blog routinely and it’s very informative. While trying to focus on good science and encouraging evidence based medicine, you’re also conscientious of costs to medical care. Unfortunately, there are too many controversies to this post and your take on financial costs as a whole, even with the disclaimer. Your practice received revenue from participation in the trial, in turn, maybe the practice can negotiate to reduce your rates paid by insurers to the practice. That would lead to a lower cost to the system, ‘downstream savings’!
2021 should be the year to show our true colors!
Thanks for the feedback. To clarify, I mostly placed this post because I am pleased with my group’s participation in this study and the fact that it led a useful clinical product becoming available in U.S. Our practice did receive revenue by participating in this trial. To my knowledge, we have no financial benefits going forward. In terms of downstream revenue savings, we frequently see children with poor growth. Having a high calorie formula available is likely to lower the rate of hospitalization in this population. Also, recently, our group helped manage a child who needed hospitalization because the mother was preparing the high cal formula mixture improperly. This new product is likely to help eliminate this problem.