Before a 1996 US regulation requiring fortification of enriched cereal-grain products with folic acid, 3 economic evaluations projected net economic benefits or cost savings of folic acid fortification resulting from the prevention of pregnancies affected by a neural tube defect. Because the observed decline in neural tube defect rates is greater than was forecast before fortification, the economic gains are correspondingly larger. Applying both cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analytic techniques, we estimated that folic acid fortification is associated with annual economic benefit of $312 million to $425 million. The cost savings (net reduction in direct costs) were estimated to be in the range of $88 million to $145 million per year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health