Cost-effectiveness of infant hypoallergenic formulas to manage cow's milk protein allergy in France

J Mark Access Health Policy. 2022 Dec 10;11(1):2154418. doi: 10.1080/20016689.2022.2154418. eCollection 2023.


Background: Clinician's choice of hypoallergenic formulas in the first-line management of cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) should be informed by evidence on clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness.

Objective: We compare the cost-effectiveness of amino acid-based formula (AAF), extensively hydrolyzed casein formula with Lactobacillus rhamnosus Gorbach Goldin (EHCF+LGG), extensively hydrolyzed whey formula (EHWF), and rice hydrolyzed formula (RHF) in non-breastfed children in France.

Methods: Immunotolerance and atopic manifestations' prevalence were based on a prospective non-randomized study with a 36-month follow-up. Resource utilization was sourced from a survey of French clinicians, and unit costs were based on national data. Costs and health consequences were discounted at 2.5% annually. Results were reported using the Collective and French National Health Insurance perspectives.

Results: Children receiving EHCF+LGG were predicted to require less healthcare resources, given their reduced prevalence of CMPA symptoms at 3 years. In the base case, EHCF+LGG led to savings of at least €674 per child compared to AAF, EHWF, and RHF at 3 years, from both perspectives. Nutrition had the highest economic burden in CMPA, driven by hypoallergenic formulas and dietetic replacements costs. Results were robust to one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: EHCF+LGG was associated with more symptom-free time, higher immune tolerance, and lower costs.

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness analysis; Cow’s milk protein allergy; France; child nutrition sciences; milk substitutes.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Reckitt Benckiser Health France, Mead Johnson Nutrition, UK, Reckitt Benckiser.