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Climacteric. 2011 Apr;14(2):228-35. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2010.514628. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Adherence and persistence in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis treated with raloxifene.

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Department of Endocrinology, Reproductive Medicine and Osteoporosis, Philipps-University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany.



A major impediment in osteoporosis care is poor therapeutic adherence. Real-life surveys show that adherence and persistence with oral bisphosphonates decrease to 30-60% within 1 year. The aim of this study was to analyze the adherence and persistence with raloxifene in patients visiting our outpatient clinic.


A total of 342 patients were evaluated from the conventional osteoporosis practice receiving treatment with raloxifene. Patient self-reporting was combined with the medication possession ratio (MPR) assessed via prescription refill counts. In addition, persistence and other self-reported and patient file-based data were assessed.


The final analysis comprised 300 patients with a mean age of 66.3 years (standard deviation ± 7.2 years). At 6 months 84%, at 12 months 81%, at 24 months 78% and at 36 months 77% of patients were persistent with therapy according to patients' self-reports. If MPR and self-reported data were combined, 56%, 48% and 35% of patients remained on therapy at 12, 24 and 36 months, respectively. The mean duration of therapy was 19 months with a mean MPR of 52.8%. Finally, 31.7% of all patients were classified as adherent. Significant correlation to adherence was found for tolerability and motivational factors.


This study revealed that approximately half of the patients treated with raloxifene in regular clinical practice stay on therapy for the first 2 years. Furthermore, the patients do not adhere sufficiently to the recommended dosage, and reduced clinical efficacy in clinical practice is presumable. The reasons for non-adherence comprise tolerability and motivational factors but further investigation is needed.

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