Treating osteoporosis: economic aspects of bisphosphonate therapy
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Each year, fractures associated with osteoporosis place a significant burden on healthcare spending and result in unnecessary morbidity, mortality and reductions in quality of life for individual patients. Several treatments are available that can improve the course of this chronic bone disease, and lead to significant reductions in fractures. Bisphosphonates have proven efficacy, are widely available and currently recommended as the first-line of therapy for osteoporosis in many practice guidelines. In addition to demonstrating clinical benefit, from a health-policy perspective, the economic benefits regarding prevention and treatment must be established. In recent years, several health economic studies have examined the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of bisphosphonates in various patient groups. This paper reviews a number of these studies regarding the economic benefits of treating osteoporosis with bisphosphonates and considers for whom prevention and/or treatment is most warranted.
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