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Formula woes - American style

Those in the US who need to use an elemental or semi-elemental feed because of severe food allergies or food intolerance, appear to have much less trouble than their UK counterparts in getting a diagnosis but, once they have this, they often have to do battle with their health insurers to get them to cover the high cost of this treatment.

Even though only a tiny percentage of the population - mostly children - require a specialised feed, most insurers refuse to meet this need on the grounds that the feeds are nutrients or supplements rather than medicine, and only six US states require insurance coverage for special formulae.

Whilst UK patients with overwhelming food intolerance can have inordinate difficulty in finding a doctor who will believe that they really do need to avoid normal food, at least we can get the formulae on prescription once a doctor has been persuaded.

First published in September 2007

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