Bisphosphonates reduce costs-if women take them

November 1, 2006

Osteoporosis-related health-care costs are lower for postmenopausal women prescribed bisphosphonates-if they comply with therapy. That is the conclusion of a retrospective analysis of prescription and treatment data presented at this year's NAMS meeting.

Osteoporosis-related health-care costs are lower for postmenopausal women prescribed bisphosphonates-if they comply with therapy. That is the conclusion of a retrospective analysis of prescription and treatment data presented at this year's NAMS meeting.

Data collected by Medstat and Medicare from more than 32,000 women aged 45 or older who filled a prescription for daily or weekly alendronate or risedronate were assessed. At the end of the 3-year study period, 37% of the women got their refills (compliant) and 21% had no gaps between bisphosphonate refills (persistence).

Mean costs of inpatient admissions were lower for those who were compliant and persistent-$10,653 and $9,846-versus noncompliant and nonpersistent-$14,074 and $13,601. Total mean health-care costs were $17,840 for women with on-time refills and $16,521 for women who took medication consistently, compared with $22,906 for those who missed refills and $22,219 for medication skippers.