Friday, 17 Jan 2020

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Cost of Osteoporosis Care in the USA

The 2010 NHANES study suggests that the overall prevalence of osteoporosis (OP) in the USA is ~10% or 10.2 million older adults (> 50 yrs) had osteoporosis.  This combined with the ~44% prevalence of low bone mass (43.4 million) highlights the public health problem of OP and osteopenia in the USA.

An analysis by the NIH-NIAMS shows that $990 million dollars was spent on anti-osteoporosis drugs in 2013. 

This data is based on Medicare patients receiving anti-osteoporotic therapy in 2013. $756 million (77%) was attributable to brand name drugs. Generic dispensing rate varied from 57-86% across the different states in the USA. 

Despite this cost, only one in two adults with osteoporosis aged 65 and older received a prescription for an anti-osteoporosis drug.

Thirty-eight percent of the total prescriptions from orthopedic surgeons were for Forteo® or Prolia® compared to 12.5 % from specialists.

These findings highlight the need for ongoing training for physicians who engage in the care of patients with osteoporosis to manage the disease in a cost-effective manner.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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