Congress Learns About Cost Savings of Supplements

December 5, 2013

The cost-savings data comes courtesy of a new report commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Representatives of Congress got educated about the healthcare cost savings of dietary supplements. Supplement industry associations this week held an educational briefing for Capitol Hill staff as part of the industry’s third-ever Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC).

            The cost-savings data comes courtesy of a new report, “Smart Prevention-Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” commissioned by supplement trade association the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC). View the report for free on CRN’s website.

Specifically, the report shows that dietary supplement intake, as part of preventive healthcare, can “reduce the number of medical events” due to heart disease, age-related eye disease, diabetes, and bone disease. Not surprisingly, there are cost savings. As CRN explained in a press release:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 75 percent of total health care expenses are spent on caring for people with preventable diseases, with only three percent spent on prevention. Between 2013 and 2020, the number of people with preventable diseases is likely to increase, as projected by the report. For instance, the number of U.S. adults over the age of 55 with coronary heart disease (CHD) is expected to rise 13 percent. However, if these same U.S. adults with CHD take phytosterol dietary supplements at preventive intake levels, the risk of having a CHD-related medical event can be reduced by 11.2 percent, saving our system $26.6 billion over the next seven years.

“Chronic diseases are one of the greatest contributors to health care costs in this country,” said Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, in the press release. “If we can identify and motivate those at risk to effectively use dietary supplements, we can control rising societal health care costs, but also give sick individuals a chance to reduce the risk of costly events and, most importantly, to improve their quality of life.”

Other trade associations also attended the DSC briefing, including the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Natural Products Association, and the United Natural Products Alliance.

Frost & Sullivan compiled the report.