Overcoming Problems with Adherence to Osteoporosis Medication

Véronique Rabenda; Jean-Yves Reginster


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2010;10(6):677-689. 

In This Article

Five-year View

In conclusion, there is strong evidence that adherence with osteoporosis treatment is poor and suboptimal in clinical practice, resulting in a significantly greater risk of fractures and increased healthcare expenditures. However, despite these facts, there should be substantial hope that these behaviors can change in the future.

In less than 10 years, the treatment armamentarium for osteoporosis has expanded considerably. The dosing regimen of osteoporosis medications varies from daily intake to yearly administration, offering a wider option of choices to suit patients' and clinicians' preferences and needs. Because less-frequent dosing regimens are accepted by a larger amount of patients and cause minimum disruption to patient's lifestyles, they may promote adherence, enhance patient satisfaction and outcomes, and, consequently, decrease the social and economic burden of this debilitating condition. In consequence, we remain hopeful that the large availability of medications with more-convenient schedules and low-frequency dosing regimens will likely improve this situation. The next step will be to investigate long-term adherence to these low-frequency dosing regimens in a real-life setting. Moreover, strategies that could improve adherence have been the topics of much research during the last decade, reflecting, maybe partly, increased healthcare providers' awareness about this particular problem.

However, although important efforts towards improving adherence were performed during the last decade, a deployment of a large number of new measures will be essential in the future. Numerous efforts should be made in order to promote the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, and to improve knowledge. We hope that these measures, associated with the use of effective, well-tolerated drugs, will allow an optimal management of osteoporotic patients and eradicate this public health concern.


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