Michigan WIC Program Announces Infant Formula Changes

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

August 24, 2006

The Michigan Department of Community Health’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program) will implement a new infant formula rebate contract with Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb, effective November 1, 2006.

Though breastfeeding is strongly recommended, WIC also offers infant formulas for those infants who are not exclusively breastfed. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for optimal growth and physical and cognitive development.

Most babies will not notice the change in formula. Parents should speak with their baby’s doctor or the WIC Nurse or Nutritionist if this change causes increased gas, stomach pain, a difference in bowel movements, trouble breathing, red diaper rash, frequent spitting up, or projectile vomiting. Some babies may have allergies to standard formula or breast milk. If the doctor determines that a special formula is needed, the parent can obtain a medical justification form, to be signed by their doctor and returned, from their WIC clinic in order to have the special formula approved.

The primary contract infant formulas offered through WIC will include:

· Enfamil LIPIL with Iron

· Enfamil A.R. LIPIL

· Enfamil Gentlease LIPIL

· Enfamil LactoFree LIPIL

· Enfamil with Iron

· Prosobee LIPIL Iron Fortified

Competitive bidding for infant formula is required by federal regulations and the Mead Johnson Nutritional’s bid produced more rebate income for the Michigan WIC program. The change in the infant formula rebate contract will affect most participating WIC families receiving formula.

The Infant Formula Rebate allows the WIC Program to enroll more infants, women, and children and provide nutritious food, nutrition education, and referrals to other health and social service programs, such as prenatal care, immunizations, and Food Stamps. Besides breastfeeding support and infant formula, the WIC Program also provides supplemental foods such as milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, peanut butter and dry beans.

For questions regarding enrollment in the WIC Program, please contact your local WIC agency by calling 1-800-26-BIRTH or by visiting www.michigan.gov/WIC. For more information on infant formulas, please call (800) 942-1636 (choose option 1 and then 5).