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P T. 2018 Feb;43(2):92-104.

Osteoporosis: A Review of Treatment Options.


Approximately 10 million men and women in the U.S. have osteoporosis,1 a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone architecture that increase the risk of fractures.2 Osteoporosis-related fractures can increase pain, disability, nursing home placement, total health care costs, and mortality.3 The diagnosis of osteoporosis is primarily determined by measuring bone mineral density (BMD) using noninvasive dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Osteoporosis medications include bisphosphonates, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand inhibitors, estrogen agonists/antagonists, parathyroid hormone analogues, and calcitonin.3-6 Emerging therapies utilizing novel mechanisms include a cathepsin K inhibitor and a monoclonal antibody against sclerostin.7,8 While professional organizations have compiled recommendations for the management of osteoporosis in various populations, a consensus has yet to develop as to which is the gold standard; therefore, economic evaluations have been increasingly important to help guide decision-makers. A review of cost-effectiveness literature on the efficacy of oral bisphosphonates has shown alendronate and risedronate to be most cost-effective in women with low BMD without previous fractures.9 Guidelines are inconsistent as to the place in therapy of denosumab (Prolia, Amgen). In economic analyses evaluating treatment of postmenopausal women, denosumab outperformed risedronate and ibandronate; its efficacy was comparable to generic alendronate, but it cost more.10 With regard to older men with osteoporosis, denosumab was also found to be cost-effective when compared with bisphosphonates and teriparatide (Forteo, Lilly).11.


Conflict of interest statement

Disclosures: The authors report no commercial or financial interests in regard to this article.

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