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Kenny Vigil
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Health Department Announces WIC Infant Formula Changes


The New Mexico Department of Health’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program is announcing today changes that will impact families who get infant formula. Starting October 1, WIC will have a contract with Abbott Nutrition, which makes Similac Infant Formula. Beginning October 1, WIC  will no longer cover the purchase of Nestle Gerber Good Start formulas.

The New Mexico WIC Program collaborates with North Carolina and Arkansas WIC Programs to receive a rebate from the formula manufacturer on each can of formula purchased with WIC federal dollars. As required, a bid went out for the new contract. Abbott nutrition provided the best rebate offer this year. None of the rebate money is used for administration of the program.

“While I encourage women to breastfeed because of the health benefits it offers to moms and babies, some moms need to use infant formula to supplement and formula is a safe alternate to breast milk,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH.

The New Mexico WIC Program serves about 52,000 women, infants and children each month.  WIC promotes breastfeeding and New Mexico’s WIC Program has one of the highest client breastfeeding rates in the country. From October 2014 to May 2015, the New Mexico WIC breastfeeding initiation rate was about 80 percent, compared to the national rate of 77 percent in 2013.

Formulas approved under the new contract include:

  • Similac Advance milk based formula (powder, concentrate and ready to use)
  • Similac Isomil soy based formula (powder, concentrate and ready to use)

For infants and children who have a medical condition that prevents them from tolerating the Similac formulas, other special formulas are available by prescription. These formulas include premature, hydrolyzed and metabolic formulas. A new prescription form will be posted to Women, Infants and Children to reflect the changes in formulas by October 1.


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