Daily consumption of 1.7g of phytosterols by the millions of adults aged 55 and over in the EU with severe hypercholesterolemia could provide healthcare savings of €5.3 billion per year and prevent more than 170.000 hospitalisations.
Patrick Coppens director of regulatory and scientific affairs at Food Supplements Europe noted that the extent of the benefits varies between different EU Member States because of differences in healthcare structures, different risks of hypercholesterolemia and the different costs involved with a cardiovascular event.
"But in every single member state, the balance is positive," said Coppens. "The cost-effectiveness is very high".
Overall, the five largest EU countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) can expect potential cost savings in excess of €160 million per year, said the report.
The report showed that the total avoidable healthecare savings from suplementation within the EU would stand at €5.3 billion per year, however when the cost of supplementation programs was added in (a total anual cost of €1.2 billion for Europe) then a net benefit of €4.1 billion was seen. This is equivalent to a €4.37 return from healthcare savings every €1 spent on supplementation, said Coppens.
"In every single Member State there is a net benefit cost-saving. Even if you take into account the cost of supplementatiom with phytosterols then still the efect is positive" he told us.
Health care savings
The new report is the third in the space of a year to hightlight the huge potential that exists for generating healthcare cost savings from supplementation programs.
"A very clear picture is emerging of the significant economic and wellbeing benefits that could be achieved by encouraging more widespread food supplementation among those sections of the EU population at greatest risk" said Food Supplements Europe Chair Ingrid Atteryd.
"It´s a clear indication that food supplementation can make a highly positive contribution in the EU both financially and in terms of quality of life"