Limerick-based Nualtra to supply NHS with dietary product

Altralife will be used in ‘ground-breaking’ programme for people with Type 2 diabetes

Altralife is a “total diet replacement” that is “nutritionally complete” and is intended to replace all food

Limerick-based medical nutrition company Nualtra has won a contract to supply a product to the UK's NHS for a "ground-breaking" diet programme for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Nualtra will supply its weight control product Altralife, which is made in Ireland, to the 5,000 NHS Type 2 diabetes patients taking part in the programme across the UK, which gets under way this month.

This follows another contract in the UK where Nualtra reached an agreement with ICS Health & Wellbeing to supply Altralife to 10,000 additional patients under the North West London Clinical Commissioning Group.

The patients are participants in ICS Health & Wellbeing’s Rewind programme, which is also aimed at people with Type 2 diabetes.

READ MORE

The company says the contract with the NHS is worth a “minimum” of €500,000 over the next two years, while the Rewind deal is worth a further €220,000 over the same period.

If the trials are successful the products could be rolled out as standard treatments.

Nualtra is backed by investors including former Independent News & Media chairman Leslie Buckley, and Datalex chief executive Sean Corkery, who are both also directors of Denis O’Brien’s Digicel telco.

Developed by Nualtra, Altralife is a “total diet replacement” that is “nutritionally complete”, and is intended to replace all food in the first 12 weeks of the 12-month NHS programme.

Participants are encouraged to try a soup and shakes weight-loss plan, and will cease taking all diabetes medication at the commencement of the programme. This follows a successful trial by NHS England, which saw almost half of participants experience remission after a year.

Nualtra said on Monday it was also planning to launch Altralife shakes and soup mix in Ireland to help Irish patients with Type 2 diabetes, and to reduce the significant cost which the condition places on the Irish healthcare system.

Total cost

The total cost to the Irish healthcare system of managing diabetes is estimated at €2 billion per annum, of which Type 2 diabetes accounts for €400 million to €500 million. “These numbers will continue to grow unless addressed as obesity rates increase,” said a spokesman for Nualtra.

The company believes there is potential to roll out a similar study in Ireland in partnership with the HSE and Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Partnership Programme.

Nualtra was founded in 2012 by Paul Gough. It is a medical nutrition company focused on the delivery of affordable oral nutritional supplements.

“We are very proud to announce our recent UK expansion and partnerships with the NHS and ICS Health & Wellbeing,” said Mr Gough. “The demand for Altralife from these leading organisations is a testament to the time and effort invested by our team in developing it.

“Altralife was created with a focus on great-tasting products with modern, lifestyle branding that aims to remove the stigma often associated with weight loss and weight control products. We believe it will be extremely beneficial for diabetes patients in Ireland and the UK.”

William Hadfield, clinical dietetic lead with ICS Health & Wellbeing, said: “This ground-breaking programme now offers people living with Type 2 diabetes a new option. We no longer have to rely on medications to manage blood glucose levels – we give people the tools to take control and manage Type 2 diabetes in their own way. This is going to revolutionise the way we manage Type 2 diabetes.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter