Research data reveals why women discontinue treatment with current osteoporosis therapies

Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) today announced the presentation of data highlighting the links between medication satisfaction, adherence to therapy and fracture risk reduction among women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The data were presented at the 31st annual meeting of the American Society for Bone Mineral Research (ASBMR).

"These data enhance our understanding of why many women discontinue treatment with current osteoporosis therapies, suggesting that convenience, effectiveness and side effects are important factors," said David Macarios, executive director for Global Health Economics at Amgen. "This new research reinforces the view that poor adherence can lead to negative outcomes including fractures, more frequent hospital admissions and higher medical costs."

Impact of Treatment Satisfaction (Perceived Benefits, Convenience, Side Effects) on Persistence with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Therapy (Abstract No. SA0317)

Data collected from the Prospective Observational Scientific Study Investigation Bone Loss Experience (POSSIBLE US(TM)) study showed that women who were less satisfied with their osteoporosis therapy were more likely to discontinue or switch their therapy compared to women who were more satisfied. The prospective registry study enrolled 5,015 patients, the majority of whom were using an oral bisphosphonate at the time of study entry, and used the self-administered Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication every six months to measure patient satisfaction with convenience, perceived effectiveness and side effects of therapy.

Comorbidities, Bone Loss and Concomitant Medication Use in European Postmenopausal Women: POSSIBLE EU((R)) (Abstract No. MO0339)

Amgen also reported preliminary findings from a similar longitudinal cohort study, the Prospective Observational Scientific Study Investigating Bone Loss Experience in Europe (POSSIBLE EU((R))), designed to describe the characteristics and management of postmenopausal women (N = 3,403) receiving bone loss medication in 5 countries in the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK). Data were collected via physician-completed questionnaires at study entry and at 3-month intervals for 1 year.

Interim analysis showed that at study enrollment, the majority (84 percent) of patients were receiving oral bisphosphonate therapy and the largest proportion (31 percent) of patients received 5 or more concomitant medications. Upper gastrointestinal (GI) problems were common in this population, particularly in patients who switched bone loss medication at baseline. In this European population, comorbid conditions and the use of multiple medications were common. POSSIBLE EU analyses are ongoing exploring the association between patient characteristics, treatment satisfaction and adherence.

Impact of Adherence to Osteoporosis Medication on Risk of Fracture (Abstract No. SA0368) and Association Between Adherence to Osteoporosis Medication and Inpatient Stays and Medical Services Costs (Abstract No. SU0387)

Two retrospective analyses were conducted from a study that examined the impact of medication adherence on risk of fracture, hospitalization and healthcare costs among women initiating osteoporosis medication. The two analyses used medical and pharmacy claims from 32,573 women who initiated treatment on alendronate, risedronate, teriparatide, ibandronate or raloxifene in a large U.S. health plan. One analysis showed that patients with low adherence had a 20.4 percent higher risk of fracture than did patients with high adherence (p<0.0001).

A second analysis found that patients with low adherence had a 31.2 percent higher probability of a hospital stay (p<0.001) and 11.4 percent higher mean medical costs>

Fracture is one of the most common health events suffered by postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Globally, one woman in three over 50 years of age will experience a fracture in her lifetime. A woman who has broken a bone as a result of osteoporosis has more than an eight-out-of-ten chance of breaking another bone. Half of women who break a hip, a life changing event, will permanently need assistance to walk.

Osteoporosis: Impact and Prevalence

Often referred to as the "silent epidemic," osteoporosis is a global problem that is increasing in significance as the population of the world both increases and ages. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently identified osteoporosis as a priority health issue along with other major non-communicable diseases.

The economic burden of osteoporosis is comparable to that of other major chronic diseases; for example, in the U.S., the costs associated with osteoporosis-related fractures are equivalent to those of cardiovascular disease and asthma.

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