In response to the ongoing shortage of baby formula, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics have issued recommendations to affected families. HHS reminds parents:
- Never dilute formula: Diluting infant formula with water or other liquids can be dangerous and even life-threatening for babies, leading to a serious nutritional deficit and health issues.
- Avoid homemade formula: Homemade formulas often lack or have inadequate amounts of critical nutrients. For example, babies fed homemade infant formula have been hospitalized due to hypocalcemia (low calcium).
- Use of substitute formulas is OK: For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not currently available, it is OK to substitute with a similar version. If families have questions about which formula is acceptable, or if they are still having difficulty finding formula, they should contact their child’s pediatric provider or WIC clinic.
- Talk to your doctor: Families should consult their pediatrician if their babies or children require a specialized formula and need a recommendation for a comparable formula to use. Providers can also submit an urgent request for specialized formula to Abbott, a primary formula manufacturer. Abbott is releasing some specialty and metabolic formulas on a case-by-case basis.
AAP’s Healthy Children website has more information and recommendations concerning the baby formula shortage here.
ABBOTT MAKES BABY FORMULA AVAILABLE TO FILL URGENT NEED
If you have an emergency need for baby formula, contact your pediatrician. Your pediatrician can now can assist you in obtaining formula when it’s otherwise unavailable. In response to a request from the Food and Drug Administration, Abbott is releasing limited quantities of metabolic and Similac PM 60/40 nutrition formulas for patients in urgent need.
The products will be provided at no charge on a case-by-case basis to patients whose health care team has determined they need the products urgently. An order with a physician signature is required.
Limited quantities of the following products are available:
- Similac PM 60/40
- Calcilo XD
- Cyclinex-1 and Cyclinex-2
- Glutarex-1 and Glutarex-2
- Hominex-1 and Hominex-2
- I-Valex-1 and I-Valex-2
- Ketonex-1 and Ketonex-2
- Phenex-1 and Phenex-2
- Propimex-1 and Propimex-2
- Tyrex-1 and Tyrex-2
These products were on hold after Abbott’s recall of some powder formulas from its facility in Sturgis, Mich. None of the lots being released were included in the recall.
EXCHANGES OF PRODUCTS UNDER THE WIC PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has granted WIC agencies across the country waivers of certain WIC regulations so that WIC participants can exchange their recalled baby formula and use WIC benefits to purchase products that have not been recalled. WIC participants in Florida can exchange recalled formula using WIC benefits.
HOW HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP
Pediatric health care providers can assist patients and parents who have an urgent need for formula. To order a product and have it shipped to a patient or hospital, download this form and fax the completed form with a physician order to 877-293-9145.
Due to limited supply, one to two cases of product will be provided at a time. Health care providers should submit a new form and order if a patient needs additional product. For more information, call Abbott Consumer Relations at 800-881-0876.
See AAP’s May 19 news release on baby formula.