New Study Shows Swine Production May Have Untapped Potential

July 5, 2019

New Study Shows Swine Production May Have More Than $300M in Untapped Potential in the U.S., More Than €530M in the EU

The study found an additional 200 mg dose of injectable iron yields higher optimal blood hemoglobin at weaning

WATCHUNG, N.J. (July 5, 2019) - Studies have shown that up to 79% of piglets have less than optimal blood hemoglobin (Hb) at weaning, which has demonstrated impacts to wean-finish growth rates of 2,3 kg. per head. [1] [2] Pharmacosmos conducted a study using Uniferon® 200 iron supplements that found that a large economic potential remains untapped by failing to maximize the hemoglobin status of piglets at weaning, more than $300 million in the U.S. and €530 million in the EU annually. [3]

Data from this and previous studies show that a single 200 mg dose of injectable iron, the common dose used today, is not sufficient in preventing full-scale and sub-clinical iron deficiency anaemia in piglets.

"We have found that increasing the dose to 400 mg, given in two 200 mg injections, increases piglets with optimal hemoglobin at weaning from 21% to 70%," said Jerry Purvis, Director of Feed Operations at Purvis Farms, North Carolina. "Increased hemoglobin means larger pigs and a bigger return on investment for the swine industry."

The economic model used in the study was developed by Chris Olsen, DVM, M.S., technical services manager at Pharmacosmos. The model shows by maximizing the hemoglobin status of piglets at weaning, the ROI increases $2.77 per head, even after the cost of an additional 200 mg dose of iron at $0.25 a head. When multiplied by the total number of hogs slaughtered in the U.S. annually, more than 121.3 million, there was a total ROI more than $300 million annually. When applied to production in the EU, the ROI increases €2.08 per head. When multiplied by the number of hogs slaughtered in the EU annually, 255 million, the total ROI is more than €530 million.

"The results of an additional 200 mg dose of iron at 12 days of age showed an increase of 2,3 kg per head," said Olsen. "The results are significant and there is clear benefit to increasing the dose given to each piglet from one 200 mg dose to two 200 mg doses."

The study was conducted on 235 healthy piglets, with hemoglobin distribution of a herd when given a single 200 mg dose of Uniferon used as a baseline. The ROI was calculated using estimates to account for costs of production, product and labor for administration of a second injection.

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Contact: Kari Porter
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[1] Perri A et al. An investigation of iron deficiency and anaemia in piglets and the effect of iron status at weaning on post weaning performance. JSHAP. 2016; 24:10 20.

[2] Fredericks L et al. Evaluation of the impact of iron dosage on post weaning weight gain, and mortality. AASV. 2018;315

[3] Annual slaughter of 255 million head and carcass price of €150/100kg used for calculation: Pig Dashboard -European Commission;


About Uniferon

Uniferon is a modern improved iron hydrogenated dextran based on a natural formula, which is approved for global use:

Uniferon is manufactured without the use of any organic solvents or cyanide, thus, avoiding trace residues of these impurities. Pharmacosmos manufactures iron dextran of high quality and unique purity for customers worldwide. Uniferon is the only injectable iron brand for piglets approved in the EU, the US and Asia.

About Pharmacosmos

Headquartered in Denmark, Pharmacosmos is a family-owned, international healthcare company with more than 50 years of innovation and leadership in iron- and carbohydrate-based treatments and solutions for human and animal use.

A research-based company, its ongoing R&D programme focuses on improving the lives of patients with iron deficiency with or without anaemia. More than 1 billion people live with iron deficiency anaemia and it is the leading cause of death for an estimated 180,000 people every year. This makes it one of the largest global health challenges of our time.

Pharmacosmos has subsidiaries in the Nordics, the UK and the US and its products are marketed in more than 80 countries across the world. Its manufacturing facilities are approved, among others, by the Danish Medicines Agency and the US FDA.