Do postmenopausal women stick with bishosphonates?

June 1, 2005

Apparently not, but getting them to start bisphosphonates and continue taking them could prevent nearly 400,000 fractures every year. So say findings from a study of adherence to alendronate and risendronate presented at the National Osteoporosis Foundation meeting.

Apparently not, but getting them to start bisphosphonates and continue taking them could prevent nearly 400,000 fractures every year. So say findings from a study of adherence to alendronate and risendronate presented at the National Osteoporosis Foundation meeting.

The retrospective study examined medical and pharmaceutical claims from nearly 7,000 postmenopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis who were prescribed bisphosphonates for the first time between 1999 and 2001. The data from 45 employers and 100 health plans were in two databases and covered a period of 41/2 years.

More than half (52.45%) of the women given bisphosphonates did not refill their prescriptions regularly and fewer than a quarter of them stayed on them for 2 years. Risk of fracture was 26% lower in those who took the therapy (compliance) and 21% lower in those who completed at least 80% of their refills (persistence).

Siris E, Rosen CJ, Harris ST, et al. Adherence rates to bisphosphonate therapy: relationship to bone fractures at 24 months in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Presented Thursday, April 7, 2005 at the 6th International Symposium on Osteoporosis: Current Status and Future Directions in Washington, D.C.