Medical nutrition: A beneficial and cost-effective adjuvant to healthcare

Oct 11, 2012
An elderly woman in a hospital MEDICAL NUTRITION: A beneficial and cost-effective adjuvant to healthcare.

Healthcare costs are rising worldwide. There are many reasons for this, including

  • a demographic shift towards a more ageing population, which brings with it a greater prevalence of chronic diseases
  • advances in medicine and new technologies, which are state-of-the-art but also expensive

Rising healthcare costs are unsustainable. Healthcare decision makers increasingly have to find more cost-effective ways of ensuring the most successful medical outcome. They need evidence-based information to guide their decisions. This is where Healthcare Technology Assessment (HTA) comes in.

HTA is not new. It has been used since the 1970s to guide decisions. Typically these decisions are about the use of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or surgical procedures in relation to factors such as safety, efficacy, and cost, while also taking account of social, legal and ethical considerations.

HTA has not previously been used to guide decisions about the use of medical nutrition. However, the right medical nutrition can have a positive impact on patients’ health and it can reduce healthcare costs.

In June 2012 Nestlé Health Science organised a Satellite Symposium at the annual meeting of Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) to show that there are good reasons for medical nutrition to be considered in HTAs.

The symposium was successful in raising awareness about the effectiveness of medical nutrition, and it showed that medical nutrition offers value-for-money in a healthcare environment.

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