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17th September 2014 - PRESS RELEASE

Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition rewarded for demonstrating that oral nutritional therapy at home is effective, adequate and cost effective

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Geneva, 12th September 2014: The 36th congress of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) held in Geneva, Switzerland, saw the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES/SSNC) announced as the winner of the 2014 Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) grant. Since 2008 the MNI has supported the fight against malnutrition through a grant given to the most innovative, national initiative to fight malnutrition in Europe.

The grant of €30,000 was awarded to the GESKES/SSNC in recognition of their outstanding work in improving home nutritional therapy and obtaining reimbursement of medically indicated oral nutritional supplements at home.

Their entry “Improving home nutritional therapy in Switzerland” was submitted by Professor Peter E. Ballmer, President of the GESKES/SSNC and Head of Department of Medicine, Kantonsspital Winterthur. GESKES/SSNC requested the reimbursement of medically indicated oral nutritional supplements at home – with success.

The project highlighted that there is scientifically sound evidence that oral nutritional supplements (ONS), i.e. sip feeding, is an effective means to combat malnutrition: it is cost-effective, causes few complications, improves the quality of life and most importantly, allows for early addressing of malnutrition. Despite these convincing arguments and the significant health and economic consequences, ONS at home were not covered by the compulsory health insurance in Switzerland, even if the patient was malnourished and had a medical indication. In contrast the costs of enteral tube feeding and parenteral nutrition were fully reimbursed by the health insurer.

When asked how GESKES/SSNC successfully convinced authorities of the value of oral nutritional therapy at home, Prof Ballmer said:

“By estimating future development of home artificial nutritional therapies and using a sound economic evaluation model, we were able to show that cost arising from ONS reimbursement at home would be covered within five years. The key to success was the science-based, multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach that we used. We are delighted that our initiative has been selected for the award, and hope that it can help other countries to follow the example of Switzerland. This Grant will help us to keep the momentum; we will use the money to evaluate the impact of reimbursement on overall costs over the next five years, and re-evaluate the epidemiological and medical data of the use of oral nutritional supplements.”

Michel Gardet, President of MNI, stated: “This is a success for Switzerland to recognize the importance of adequate nutritional support to improve health outcome in a cost-effective way.”

At the Congress, representatives of ESPEN, ENHA, patient groups and MNI shared their views on how to better fight malnutrition. All called for a strong collaborative approach. Professor Olle Ljungqvist, ENHA Co-Chair, presented an example of a successful collaborative approach: the optimal nutritional care for all campaign, empowering stakeholders at the national level to drive screening and nutritional care on the political agenda. The campaign will culminate with a conference on 4-5th November 2014 in Brussels.

Professor Ljungqvist said: “This campaign shows us that building alliances is possible and delivers. In some countries, working together with stakeholders has resulted in establishing a sustainable dialogue. You need all stakeholders, hospital managers, insurers and the professionals, and not least the ministry of health to review the burden of malnutrition, and the ways to jointly address it. We hope other countries will join us to ensure more countries adopt nutritional care plans, including screening as an integral part of their healthcare strategy”.

To read more about the Swiss submission please visit: or


For further information, please contact Kamiqua Pearce at Weber Shandwick: or call: +44 207 067 0427.

Note to editor:

About MNI
The Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI), founded in 2006, is the international trade association for companies providing products and services that support patient management and rehabilitation by the appropriate use of specialised nutritional solutions, including both parenteral and enteral nutrition. For more information, please visit

About the MNI Grant
MNI has been awarding grants to European healthcare organisations since 2008. The objective of the MNI Grant scheme is to reward initiatives that demonstrate implementation of any of the following areas: effective screening and treatment pathways, reduction in prevalence of malnutrition risk, quantifiable improvements in nutritional care, and health economic benefits of appropriate nutritional management. For more information and to review previous winners submissions, please visit

About the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)
The aims of ESPEN are to encourage the rapid diffusion of knowledge and its application in the field of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition or, more broadly, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. It promotes experimental and clinical research, fosters high ethical standards of practice and investigation, and promotes contact between investigators and clinicians in related fields. Find out more:

About the European Nutrition for Health Alliance (ENHA)

  • The European Nutrition for Health Alliance works with key stakeholders to improve nutritional care across Europe by actively promoting:
  • Implementation of nutrition risk screening across Europe
  • Public awareness
  • Appropriate reimbursement policies
  • Medical education


  • GESKES/SSNC is the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition.
  • The society was founded in 1985.
  • The major aim of the society is to foster skills and expertise in clinical nutrition, and to implement scientific and practical knowledge to the benefit of the diseased human individual.

To learn more about the society:

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