Boning Up

Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, with post-menopausal women at the greatest risk of this disease that causes bone loss. Although mild and moderate cases of osteoporosis are generally dealt with through oral medications (e.g., bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva), severe cases of osteoporosis require more intervention to reduce the risk of bone fractures.

For severe osteoporosis there are three medications that are administered by injection and have been shown to build new bone. These medications are:

  • Forteo (teriparatide)
  • Tymlos (abaloparatide)
  • Evenity (romosozumab)

Unfortunately, it’s common for patients to find it challenging to continue these injection-based medications and many people discontinue their treatment before their prescribed plan of care is completed. In terms of treatment time, for example, Forteo is self-injected into the skin and generally prescribed for a 24 month (2 year) treatment period.

Research clearly demonstrates that once-weekly injections of Forteo over 24 months in patients with a high fracture risk increases bone mineral density, although patients find it difficult to stick with the treatment plan.

There are ways to improve adherence, though. Studies show that providing additional educational and motivational support can improve adherence with Forteo by 28%. This support, which can be as simple as phone calls to answer questions and/or written communication, brings impressive results for patients in terms of persisting with their treatment.

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has always included high-touch programs to improve adherence for our patients. And our tailored program for Forteo applies these best practices to ensure that our osteoporosis patients have the best chances for optimal health outcomes.

Sources

Ifuku E, Yoshimura T, Uzawa T, et al. Safety and efficacy in actual clinical practice of once-weekly subcutaneous teriparatide for osteoporosis patients with a high fracture risk. Osteoporos Sarcopenia 2019;5(2):44-50.

van Maren MA, Wyers CE, Driessen JHM, et al. Two-year persistence with teriparatide improved significantly after introduction of an educational and motivational support program. Osteoporos Int 2019 doi: 10.1007/s00198-019-05052-0. [Epub ahead of print]

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