June 16, 2023
Baby Formula Update 2023: Inadequate Competition, FDA Reshuffle, and Congressional Legislation
Competition in the baby formula marketplace remains severely limited, a consequence of restrictive formula sourcing regulations, poor federal oversight, and restrictive trade barriers. In a new insight, Director of Health Care Policy Laura Hobbs reviews legislative proposals to improve the oversight, quality, and availability of baby formula.
- Among other problems, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children beneficiaries, who account for half of all baby formula sales, are unable to purchase non-contracted formulas.
- Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration still lacks critical capabilities to oversee the manufacturing of baby formula or issue industry best-practice guidelines, and tariffs limit the importation of foreign products.
- Policymakers have proposed a variety of bipartisan proposals to improve the availability of baby formulas, some of which have real promise to restore and foster competition in the formula market.