An analysis of prescriptions data suggests that the NHS has saved over £37 million in the cost of ready-to-drink supplements and a further £4 million in powdered shake prescriptions in the last four years.
The average price of NHS prescriptions has in this period dropped by an average of 26% for liquids and by 29% for powders. In the shake market AYMES has nearly halved the price of ready-to-drink shakes for the NHS from around £2 per serving to £1.11.
Roger Wertheim-Aymes, CEO of AYMES, said: "Managing malnutrition is one of the most significant potential cost savers for the NHS. CCGs and Health Boards are now realising the benefits of a more competitive marketplace for oral nutritional supplements, with the savings making a real difference to hard-pressed budgets.
That said, malnutrition is a growing issue across the UK. We must ensure that sufficient resources are being directed at this critical health issue."
NICE Cost Saving Guidance ranked effective treatment of malnutrition as one of the biggest potential cost savers to the NHS. The cost of malnutrition in England was estimated to be £19.6 billion per year in 2015, equating to more than 15% of the total public expenditure on health and social care.1
A malnourished patient costs approximately 3 times more to treat and care for than a well-nourished one, due to higher hospital admissions and re-admissions, longer hospital stays as well as increasing the risk of becoming dependent on full-time care.2