Free formula

  1. Do any of you get free formula from similac or enfamil for working in APU, l&D or post partum?
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    About mugwump

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 251; Likes: 28

    13 Comments

  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from mugwump
    Do any of you get free formula from similac or enfamil for working in APU, l&D or post partum?
    I worked for a doctor (family practice) when I had my daughter in 1981 and I called the Similac rep and he was only more than glad to give me free formula. It was shipped to my home UPS every month. It was the large ready mixed cans.

    When I had my son in 1989 I was working in post-partum and again I called the Similac rep, it was a different guy, but he also was more than glad to give me free formula. He would bring me several cases of the cans of powder whenever I called and left him a message. My son ended up being on formula for 2 full years so it was an awesome benefit.

    It's been 14 years since I've worked post-partum and I am now a grandmother. The nurses who still work there give us cases of the 4oz bottles anytime we want it. Great for diaper bags!
  4. by   rph3664
    When my brother had his kids in 1999 and 2001, he went to the various formula websites and signed up for a free can. They were usually short-dated but still useful. He got free diapers and other baby supplies this way as well.

    Both babies were breast-fed but not exclusively, and this was a BIG help. There were various formulas that the babies didn't like, for whatever reason, and they gave those partial cans to a neighbor whose baby did like that type.
  5. by   TiffyRN
    Free Formula is about to be a thing of the past at our hospital. Our hospital is trying to get the "baby friendly" designation. Allegedly there is research that says giving out formula or even a diaper bag without formula but with coupons for formula (breast feeding "support" bags) lowers rates of breastfeeding.

    I work NICU and I know that refusing to accept free formula is going to seriously affect our budget. We will still be buying formula obviously.

    I'm still making up my mind on how I feel about the whole thing. I see the conflict of interest; I like getting free formula; I don't give a care about whether we get another useless designation (we are already magnet and that doesn't mean anything day to day for the floor nurses).
  6. by   Jolie
    When I started in the NICU 20 years ago, the formula companies delivered a year's supply of formula to the nurses' homes.

    By the time I had my youngest 8 years ago, I was given a complimentary case or two of powdered formula, and my boss gave the OK for me to take home anything else I needed from unit stock.

    I nursed her almost exclusively, so the amount wasn't really an issue, but by a year of age, she had some nutritional deficiencies, and required a special formula not stocked by the hospital. That cost an arm and a leg, and the formula rep could not help out. I really feel for parents who have to pay all along for special formulas!
  7. by   mitchsmom
    Quote from TiffyRN
    Free Formula is about to be a thing of the past at our hospital. Our hospital is trying to get the "baby friendly" designation. Allegedly there is research that says giving out formula or even a diaper bag without formula but with coupons for formula (breast feeding "support" bags) lowers rates of breastfeeding.

    I work NICU and I know that refusing to accept free formula is going to seriously affect our budget. We will still be buying formula obviously.

    I'm still making up my mind on how I feel about the whole thing. I see the conflict of interest; I like getting free formula; I don't give a care about whether we get another useless designation (we are already magnet and that doesn't mean anything day to day for the floor nurses).
    I don't know of any employees on our unit who gets it, but I don't think anyone has a baby either.

    Personally, I think it is a conflict of interest to take what, in my opinion, amounts to bribes by company reps - that goes for formula as well as other drug rep products and "freebies" (which are by NO means free - we all pay out the yin yang for it in their high prices for their drugs and products - research it and you'll see what I mean). And the studies about the formula freebies aren't alleged, they do actually exist & can be found with a quick search

    I thought that the hospitals who have stopped taking the free formula simply charged the family for their formula, just like the other things they use while there?

    Here's one site that is kind of about this:
    http://nofreelunch.org/
    You can search at PubMed for all kinds of studies on physicians, gifts, free formula, drug reps, etc.
    You can also google "drug reps" etc. and find more food for thought on the topic.

    A partial quote from one thing I found in the Am J of Bioethics "...receiving gifts from drug companies. Professional guidelines recognize industry gifts as a conflict of interest and establish thresholds prohibiting the exchange of large gifts while expressly allowing for the exchange of small gifts such as pens, note pads, and coffee. Considerable evidence from the social sciences suggests that gifts of negligible value can influence the behavior of the recipient in ways the recipient does not always realize. Policies and guidelines that rely on arbitrary value limits for gift-giving or receipt should be reevaluated."

  8. by   SaderNurse05
    :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
  9. by   TiffyRN
    Let me clarify; I don't know of any nurses in our unit who gets a supply of formula from the hospital; they may have gotten a diaper bag with samples while they were inpatient and that is it, all the nurses who have given birth in my unit in the last 4 years to my knowledge have breastfed at least for the first few months. It was amazing to me to hear about getting a year's supply of formula from the rep!

    And I'm sure our hospital will charge the patients for formula like we do for all other chargeable items (though will they? as we I'm not sure we charge adult patients for meals, that's a thought). It's just thinking about the nightmare of reimbursement. We all know how readily insurance companies reimburse and how quickly "self-pay" patients pay.

    Let me emphasize; I agree it's the right thing to do in theory; it just seems like a hard transition.
  10. by   Gompers
    Just to clarify: I believe this post is about nurses getting free formula as a fringe benefit of working in a hospital - not whether or not hospitals get formula for free to give to babies who are inpatients or if the diaper bags are free.

    I most likely won't be able to breastfeed for various reasons. I would LOVE to get free formula but I do think it's a thing of the past. Plus I would prefer Carnation Good Starts and it's only just become available to hospitals (since Nestle is a food company, whereas Similac and Enfamil are produced by medication companies, it took them a lot longer to get clearance for their product to be available in hospitals). I am planning on calling the rep just to see if I can get anything at all for free, though, and will ask my bosses if this is okay before I accept it.

    I will say that if there are medical reasons that a mother cannot breastfeed, I really wish insurance would at least partially cover formula...
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    As STAFF we do not get free formula, but the formula reps sure do provide us with dandy pens, pins, and even free meals while we listen to their speil. I am against this really---but not against having formula available for our use as needed for medical reasons---there are newborns who can't breastfeed, although the minority, or those on glucose protocols that need supplementation. Parents should not have to pay for it in these cases. But I am all for getting rid of bags with their labels all over them...and free formula samples. I think it gives out mixed messages to our parents. I am very pro-breastfeeding and having to give a stupid disclaimer every time I bring the bag into the patient's room. I would just rather not have to do that at all. I would like to see formula ads go away in the hospital, period.
  12. by   OBSFlightRN
    Quote from Gompers
    I will say that if there are medical reasons that a mother cannot breastfeed, I really wish insurance would at least partially cover formula...
    OT, I know, but why should insurance pay for your baby's food??
  13. by   Gompers
    Quote from OBSFlightRN
    OT, I know, but why should insurance pay for your baby's food??
    Forget it. I don't want to get into this debate again. We did it a few months back. It's simply not worth getting into again.
  14. by   rehab nurse
    my story is a little different, but nevertheless, i profited from drug reps:

    my personal physician (also a colleague) who goes to these "seminars" and gets free drinks, filet mignon, etc, also gets a stipend to spend on medical supplies and books.

    being a poor student, he exchanged his stipend for quite a few of my nursing books needed for my program. as anyone knows these books are not cheap!!! some are over a hundred dollars. i got them all for free, and all doc had to do was eat a free meal.

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