On August 31, the CRN Foundation released a new economic report detailing billions of dollars in potential savings in U.S. health care costs from the selective use of certain dietary supplements.
The report, “Supplements to Savings: U.S. Health Care Cost Savings from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements, 2022–2030,” reveals only $59 billion in savings are currently being captured, specifies the chronic diseases avoidable with preventive care, and reveals the nine supplements and intake levels needed to realize the additional billions in health care savings.
“This report is a wake-up call to American health care policy makers,” said Michael Meirovitz, director of government relations at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). “We must shift our public policy and health care spending priorities so American taxpayers can have better health—and pay less for it.”
The report provides evidence that the use of certain dietary supplement ingredients by specific populations can reduce the direct and indirect medical costs associated with a litany of chronic diseases and conditions—coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, age-related macular degeneration, cognitive decline, irritable bowel syndrome and childhood cognitive development disorders.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75 percent of the nation’s health care spending is for people with chronic conditions. In addition to health care spending, these chronic diseases cost the U.S. more than $260 billion annually in lost workforce productivity. The U.S. invests less than 3 percent of total health care expenditures on preventive care services. “When it comes to health care spending for chronic disease, an ounce of prevention is worth billions of pounds of cure,” Meirovitz added.
“Identifying at-risk populations early and providing targeted nutritional interventions like dietary supplements is a cost-effective approach alongside other healthy habits,” said Andrea Wong, PhD, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN. “A steadily growing body of clinical research shows investing in preventive care through supplementation helps Americans avoid chronic conditions. This strategy is what we call a no-brainer.”
The “Supplements to Savings” report was investigated and written by research firm Frost & Sullivan. The research methodology is a cost-benefit analysis comparing disease-attributed risk and implied associated costs in dietary supplement users vs. non-users; and meta-analyses of clinical research studies for dietary supplement ingredients as they relate to reducing the risk of a given condition. Cost savings were determined by using data including target population size, risk reduction of population, and the number of possible avoided events from supplement use.
For more information, visit www.crnusa.org.