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-   -   Anyone know about prescribed baby formula? (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/23151-anyone-know-about-prescribed-baby-formula.html)

MrsP 28.04.2008 01:22

Anyone know about prescribed baby formula?
 
Hello all!
I am currently living in the UK, but moving to Bern in 2 weeks time with my husband and 3-month-old daughter.
My daughter is allergic to cow's milk and needs Nutramigen, a hypoallergenic formula which is prescribed by the GP here in the UK (so it's completely free for us).
I heard that this milk is VERY expensive, so I'm worried that we will have to pay for it, or part of it, in CH.
Does anyone know how this works in CH? Do docs prescribe this and is there a prescription charge or partial payment for the parents?
Does it depend on what kind of health insurance we decide to get?
I'm trying to get a massive supply here before leaving.... but the GP will only prescribe a few weeks' worth of the formula.
Thanks for any useful comments!!!

TexasMomma 28.04.2008 02:31

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
I know nothing about the formula situation in CH, but I wanted to wish you luck. I had the same situation with my son in the US. Our insurance refused to cover it (He was on Neocate, even more expensive than Nutramigen) and we had to pay about 500 USD out of pocket for 15 months! I saved a bundle buying it on eBay. If there is a UK or CH equivalent, I would check that out. You do not need a prescription to buy Nutramigen in the US. Since the dollars is so weak you could probably buy it in US and still pay less with international shipping. I hope it works out that you don't have to pay anything at all. I know how tough it is!

Guest 28.04.2008 08:33

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Dear Mrs P, I have done a quick search,Nutramigen should also be available in swiss pharmacies,it finds a lot of mention in swiss based 'skin problem' websites.

When i go to town today, i will pop in a pharmacy and ask how much it'd cost hereabouts, asI couldn't find that out online.

Upon your arrival here, would do the following, sort out the health insurance,then register ASAP with a pediatrist, to ease the whole process get a written referal (as to why the HA milk is prescribed) from your GP in the UK, the new swiss doctor will also write up a prescription, with which you will then get the milk powder in the pharmacy.

You have then two ways, either you pay it directly at the pharmacy and send that receipt to your insurance later on, or you use the card, that will be issued by the insurance and the pharmacy deals with it all and you will only get a bill for the 10% you have to cover yourself anyway.

Hope this has shed some light onto the process for you :)

oh and before i forget it, ask your current GP if the product is available under other names or for the name of most similar product to Nutramigen.
Feel free to PM anytime if you want to know more.

ljm 29.04.2008 17:05

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrsP (Post 215676)
Hello all!
My daughter is allergic to cow's milk and needs Nutramigen, a hypoallergenic formula which is prescribed by the GP here in the UK (so it's completely free for us).
I'm trying to get a massive supply here before leaving.... but the GP will only prescribe a few weeks' worth of the formula.

I am very sorry about your daughter. I understand that children can tolerate one formula but not necessarily others and I am not sure that this particular formula is available in Switzerland. It is in France, but that is perhaps a bit too far.

At the risk of sounding daft, but have you considered breastfeeding?

MrsP 29.04.2008 17:18

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Hi,
Thanks for your message.
Of course breastfeeding would be the best, but I am unable to for medical reasons.
Even if I was breastfeeding, I would need the formula for supplementing when she is weaned.... until her allergy goes away (if ever).
I am pretty sure that Nutramigen exists in Switzerland (because it exists in various other European countries).... I just don't know anything about the Swiss healthcare system yet and wondered if anyone knows what (if any) the prescription charge would be.
I'm not really considering buying this out of my own pocket, as it would definitely be much too expensive and my daughter relies on it for her health (rather than just me being a fussy mum.... I've heard that some mums give hypoallergenic formula just because they believe it may reduce crying, etc.)
My daughter actually bleeds inside her intestines when she gets cow's milk, so I'm eager to get a good supply as soon as I arrive in Berne.
Anyone who knows anything about prescription charges: more comments would be most welcome!
Thanks

Lou 29.04.2008 17:21

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
How much you pay in prescription charges will depend upon the franchise you choose for your daughters health insurance (franchise is like the policy excess). Once this amount is payed than everything else should be included. You really nedd to bring a supply of the formula with you then as soon as you arrive find a Peadiatrician who can prescribe the formual for you.

ljm 29.04.2008 17:48

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Mead Johnson apparently does not have an office in Switzerland (I would guess that is because Nestle dominates this market), but perhaps you can contact their European headquarters to check if their products are sold in some specific pharmacies:

Europe
3, rue Joseph Monier - BP 325
92506 Rueil Malmaison Cedex - France
+33-1-5883-6800

I would think that in your case formula is medication rather than food and the expenses should be reimbursed if prescribed by a pediatrician, but you will need to check the details with your specific insurance company.

I would be very careful to try to substitute it with a similar product. Since all formulas are derivatives of cow's milk, they still contain certain proteins and you need to make sure that those to which your daughter is allergic to are not present.

Just to clarify one misconception: children do not have to be weaned from breast to formula. I breastfed my children as long as they were interested but introduced solid food at around 6 months and then some straight cow's milk and other dairy products after their first birthday. I never gave them a drop of formula.

I hope that your daughter will grow out of this intolerance soon. Good luck!

Guest 29.04.2008 18:15

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Like i said, I'll inquire about availability , I haven't had time yet,but will do tomorrow my weekly shop and will pop into the pharmacy then.

Lou,children up to a certain age don't pay any franchise,unless the parents choose it especially, to keep the premiums low.

With formula milk if it's on prescription by a doctor,it's the same as with the normal medication prescription, you only pay 10% excess/patients contribution.

ljm 30.04.2008 09:42

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 216817)
Lou,children up to a certain age don't pay any franchise,unless the parents choose it especially, to keep the premiums low.

With formula milk if it's on prescription by a doctor,it's the same as with the normal medication prescription, you only pay 10% excess/patients contribution.

Yes, I agree with you, usually medical insurance for children is very cheap (and you can get some kind of family package) and there is zero deductable. I asked some people from my office, formula on doctor's prescription is treated as medication by many insurance companies. But you need to shop around to find the best deal, I guess that is a bit unusual if you are used to NHS...

Shorrick Mk2 30.04.2008 10:07

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
To begin with Nutramigen is not available in Switzerland (or at least the compendium of pharmacy products doesn't list it). You could try Damira which is sold prescription-free in any Sunstore pharmacy. Damira however still contains two (out of twenty) milk proteins (casein and another one which I don't remember...), albeit highly hydrolysed. So you should have an allergy test done to know exactly what protein your baby is allergic to.

You can also try almond or goat milk which I am told work very well.

peachy 30.04.2008 10:55

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Shorrick Mk2 (Post 217087)
To begin with Nutramigen is not available in Switzerland (or at least the compendium of pharmacy products doesn't list it). You could try Damira which is sold prescription-free in any Sunstore pharmacy. Damira however still contains two (out of twenty) milk proteins (casein and another one which I don't remember...), albeit highly hydrolysed. So you should have an allergy test done to know exactly what protein your baby is allergic to.

You can also try almond or goat milk which I am told work very well.

Damira is the one, we initially had to order it. It was prescribed by our son's doctor so we should even get some of the money back.

Guest 30.04.2008 11:01

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
well Mrs P, I have bad news for you, I asked at our pharmacy today and NUTRAMIGEN is NOT available in Switzerland, at least NOT under this name.The pharmacists ( was able to talk to the boss) was very nice and checked on her computer for at least 15 minutes all possible programmes and sites they've got.


I know you can order it online form Germany,shall i look for the link ??

Upon explaining the pharmacist that your child has serious probelms with milk, she said PREGOMIN, from MILUPA would possibly be an alternative for you.

If your GP knows of an alternative product,please feel free to PM me the name and I will go and ask the pharmacist again.


ALSO; something i didn't know and I have to correct my previous post,apparently with many parents wanting to feed their baby HA milk formula SOME health insurances don't cover it up to 90% anymore,even if you do have a prescrption.

But the pharmacist told me that a customer would have to pay at most 50% of the price and the rest would be covered by insurance.So check with your insurance what they cover and what not in regards to baby formula milk.

http://www.documed.ch/Documed/de/index.php this is the link to the medical compendium of all medication available in switzerland.

ljm 30.04.2008 11:11

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Damira is different from Nutramigen in that it contains hydrolised lactoserum, so you will need to make sure that your daughter would tolerate it.

I understand that pediatricians can usually give you samples of different formulas to try and see which works best, although in such a severe case I understand that you may not wish to find out once again through trial and error.

ljm 30.04.2008 11:19

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 217126)

ALSO; something i didn't know and I have to correct my previous post,apparently with many parents wanting to feed their baby HA milk formula SOME health insurances don't cover it up to 90% anymore,even if you do have a prescrption.

And this is where the complacancy about formula has brought us -- because some irresponsible doctors were prescribing formula to healthy infants, parents who really need it now have to pay the price.

What makes me angry is that this creates hefty profits for unethical companies that are unfortunately quite successful in marketing their breastmilk substitutes.

J.L-P 30.04.2008 11:28

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
I totally sypmathize with you, my daughter had the same problems as yours. It was only at 6 months she could be tested; in hospital over 24 hours, which was considered the earliest and safest age (in France).

There might be a solution (although not the best). My daughter was on Pregestimil, which differs your formula in its source of fat (also a Mead Johnson product). I know you can get this in France (2 hour drive from Bern). You might want to see with your Dr. if this could be considered a safe alternative.

Wish I could help you more!

TexasMomma 30.04.2008 16:21

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
This is a bit off topic, I didn't know if I should start a new thread or not. Please move it if necessary. These posts are about to make me cry! I went through so much stress and worry when my son had the same issue. The formula was unbelievably expensive and my doctor pretty much assured me that no insurance company would pay for it.
I'm sorry to hear that Nutramigen isn't available in Switzerland but it is fantastic to know that alternatives would be readily covered. Is this true of most medical procedures and medications? We pay for the most expensive plan available through my husband's company here in the US and the policy seems to be "if it's expensive- it's not covered". We are supposed to hear any day now if my husband got the job. Just this morning I was thinking I didn't want the hassle of a move- if the insurance situation is this much better I may just change my mind!

30.04.2008 16:57

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
Hi
Have you had your daughter tested for Soya allergy? My daughter is also allergic to milk - but not to soya so we gave her soya formula. She had a blood test but you could always try taking some soya milk and putting a drop on her skin.

The level of your insurance won't make much of a difference, the problem is that the allergy is a pre-existing condition and they may try to exclude that from the cover. Having said that I went with Visana and they picked up a couple of my partner's conditions (asthma) and said they wouldn't cover that but didn't mention my daughter's allergies - Milk, egg, and sesame. If the doctor prescribes it and it is not on the insurance's companies exemption lists they should pay for it.

Normally you would take your insurance card into the chemists and show them it with the prescription. They will then bill the insurance company directly. It took 4 months for my card to turn up so in the mean time you will probably have ot pay and then claim it back - or take a letter from the company with you insurance detail on it.

Tell your British GP you are moving here and ask if they know of a similar formula you can use.

Finally...we got some cards from Allergy UK (http://www.allergyuk.org/auk_transcards.aspx) made up in French, German, and Italian. They say something like "My daughter is allergic to ... can you provide any food which is safe for her to eat." I think the other side says "my daughter is having an allergic reaction can you contact a doctor or ambulance for me" The cards have the English on them too and my partner carries them in her purse. Your daughter is too young to be eating in restaurants yet but if you are here for a while you may want them made up for you (Total cost was about 15 per language - they are laminated cards.) If you don't want to or can't afford to pay for them PM me and I'll give you the text and you can make up your own cards.

Really Finally...Try and get your GP to give you a 3 months supply. I think that is the max they can do in one go.

Puck 25.01.2009 09:23

Baby formula
 
Does anyone have any information on or recommendations for baby formula here in Switzerland? I have been breast feeding for 6 months and would like to make a slow transition over to formula. Thanks

Guest 25.01.2009 09:55

Re: Baby formula
 
Hi Puck, I have used Aptamil for both my babies after breastfeeding and found it really good. I use the purple labelled one (the other Aptamil has an orange label) as it is allergy tested. Remember to buy an assortment of teats as often the teat is the problem and not the formula - sometimes babies don't take to certain teats.
Good luck, hope you find a formula that suit you and baby :)

beta_ch 25.01.2009 10:06

Re: Newbie - anyone know anything about prescribed baby formula?
 
I am surprised to read here that you can get formula milk on prescription. When our daughter was born 5 years ago, we were told to use hypoallergenic milk (my wife was unable to breastfeed for medical reasons) and it costs much more than regular milk (CHF 29, compared to CHF 20-23). It is a very expensive business!! We transationed quickly to regular milk, not because of cost, but because we had nothing but trouble with hypoallergenic milk separating in the bottle when making it up. I assume that we were told by the doctors to feed hypoallergenic milk on the basis that both my wife and I are hay-fever sufferers. - Our daughter never experienced any problem with ANY milk, and in fact, drank better on regular milk.
Our second daughter was born this week and is leaving the hospital today, again on hypoallergenic milk. I will ask when I go to the hospital if they can provide a prescription for the hypoallergenic milk. If not, then I guess that the decidion is just made on a whim. Watch out!


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