Only standard ONS were included in this guidance. Factors considered in developing the Prescribing List included, but were not limited to, nutritional content (energy and protein content), clinical evidence, unit cost, range of flavours available, factors affecting compliance and current national ONS prescribing trends.
Current evidence suggests that compliance is positively associated with higher density ONS (~2kcals/ ml). This may be due to patients being able to achieve desired increases in protein and energy intake, with less volume. Therefore first line standard ONS were selected on the basis that they were multi-nutrient products that contained approximately 2kcal/ml and had a relatively lower kcal/ml cost.
Patient taste preference has also been shown to be a key factor in compliance. Therefore in addition to the recommended first line standard ONS ‘juice-style’ sip feeds are included as an option under the heading 'Options if the patient cannot tolerate milk-based drinks'. The list aims to give variety in product preparation types and flavours for patients.
Over 25 flavours are available between first line and 'juice-style' sip feed products.
This list will be reviewed regularly and updated as and when new ONS products are added to the HSE-PCRS reimbursable list.