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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Osteoporosis drug limited

6th March 2007

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued advice which seriously limits a drug used to treat osteoporosis.

oldwomanthinking1The drug, alendronate, helps to prevent broken bones as well as treating osteoporosis but according to NICE it should only be prescribed to women over the age of 70 who are underweight and have low bone density.  The Institute has also said that women over the age of 75 who have similar risk factors may be allowed the drug without having a bone density test. 

The news has angered sufferers and campaigners alike who argue that the disease affects millions of people, both men and women, over the age of 50.  One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 break a bone due to osteoporosis.  Victims suffer extreme pain as they endure numerous fractures which can lead to problems with mobility.  Alendronate costs 27p per day whereas the cost of treating a fractured hip can run to £12,000. 

The National Osteoporosis Society has reacted to the news by saying it has worries about the guidance.  A spokesperson said, "We have serious concerns that post menopausal women under 70 who are at risk of breaking a bone still do not qualify for treatment. We're concerned that doctors' disinclination to prescribe osteoporosis drugs, pending Nice's final decision, is one reason why only 480,000 of Britain's three million sufferers receive any form of drug treatment.?


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