New Study Shows Swine Production May Have Untapped Potential

July 24, 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 24, 2019) - Studies have shown that up to 79% of baby pigs have less than optimal blood hemoglobin (Hb) at weaning, which has demonstrated impacts to wean-finish growth rates of five pounds 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 baby pigs 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 anemia in baby pigs.

"We have found that increasing the dose to 400 mg, given in two 200 mg injections, increases baby pigs 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 baby pigs 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 five pounds per head," said Olsen. "The results are significant and there is clear benefit to increasing the dose given to each baby pig from one 200 mg dose to two 200 mg doses."

The study was conducted on 235 healthy baby pigs, 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

[1] Perri A et al. An investigation of iron deficiency and anemia 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 Injectable Iron

Baby pigs are very susceptible to iron deficiency anemia. Therefore, iron deficiency anemia in litters of baby pigs poses a risk to both animal health, welfare, and productivity. An injection of iron shortly after farrowing is an effective and is a globally established "best practices method" utilized to prevent iron deficiency anemia in baby pigs.

About Uniferon 200

Uniferon 200 is a modern and much improved iron hydrogenated dextran, based upon a very low impurity profile formulation, whereby this source of injectable iron for baby pigs has been approved by numerous healthcare authorities for global use.

Pharmacosmos manufactures iron dextran of high quality and unique purity, which is distributed to human and animal drug customers worldwide. Uniferon 200 is the only injectable iron brand for baby pigs approved by healthcare authorities in the EU, in the U.S. and in Asia.

About Pharmacosmos

Pharmacosmos Inc, located in Watchung, NJ as a fully owned subsidiary of Pharmacosmos A/S. is dedicated to the sales of veterinary pharmaceuticals for the treatment and prevention of iron deficiency Anemia, including Uniferon 200.

Headquartered in Holbaek, Denmark, Pharmacosmos A/S 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, the Pharmacosmos A/S ongoing R&D program focuses on improving the lives of patients with sub-clinical and full-scale iron deficiency anemia. More than 1 billion people live with iron deficiency anemia and it is the leading cause of death for an estimated 180,000 people world-wide every year. This makes sub-clinical and full-scale iron deficiency anemia one of the largest global health challenges of the current time.

Pharmacosmos A/S has subsidiaries in the US, China, Nordics, Germany, UK and Ireland, and its products are marketed in more than 80 countries around the world. The Pharmacosmos A/S manufacturing facilities located in Denmark have supported global healthcare authority approvals, among others, by the Danish Medicines Agency and the U.S. FDA.