Persistent Use of Osteoporosis Drugs Associated with Reduced Health Costs

Persistent use of osteoporosis medications was associated with reduced risk of fracture and significantly lower total healthcare costs, a recent analysis of Medicare claims data found.

Persistent use of osteoporosis medications was associated with reduced risk of fracture and significantly lower total healthcare costs. With direct medical costs of osteoporosis expected to reach $25.3 billion by 2025, both payers and patients would benefit from interventions aimed at improving medication persistence, a recent study in Osteoporosis International reported.

Poor medication persistence over time hinders successful management of a disease, other studies have reported. And another recent study found that more than 97,000 elderly patients with hip fractures found they were not often prescribed osteoporosis medications in an effort to prevent future fractures, and, in fact, the rates declined over 12 years.

This study used Medicare claims data for the years 2009 to 2012 to examine the relationship between persistent osteoporosis medication use and fracture risk among female Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with osteoporosis.

The study included 294,369 patients; 32.9% were persistent osteoporosis medication users and 67.1% were nonpersistent (having less than 12 months of continuous use). Persistent medication use was defined as continuous use (no gap ≥60 days) for 1 year or longer.

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