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Osteoporosis is a growing problem worldwide, linked to an increasingly aging population. Despite the availability of a wide variety of treatments for osteoporosis, a significant number of patients are either not being prescribed treatment or discontinue therapy as early as 6 months after initiation. The reasons for a lack of adherence are many but poor adherence increases the risk of fracture and, therefore, the disease burden to the patient and society. Results from large-scale, randomized clinical studies have shown that different osteoporosis treatments are efficacious in reducing the risk of fracture. Studies assessing the effects of discontinuing osteoporosis therapies show that some treatments appear to continue to protect patients from the risk of future fracture even when treatment is stopped. However, these trials involve patients who have been compliant with treatment for between 2 and 5 years, a situation not reflective of real-world clinical practice. In reality, patients who discontinue therapy within the first 6 months may never achieve the optimum protection from fracture regardless of which treatment they have been prescribed. Clinicians need to develop management strategies to enable patients to adhere to their treatment. This will ultimately result in better prevention of fracture and a lower burden of disease to society and patients.

Original publication

DOI

10.2147/tcrm.s17513

Type

Journal article

Journal

Therapeutics and clinical risk management

Publication Date

01/2011

Volume

7

Pages

181 - 198

Addresses

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada;