Li and associates have recently reported a study aimed at estimating persistence with osteoporosis therapies and assessing persistence by different users (stable and switching), type of osteoporosis drug, and calendar year of initiation among postmenopausal women, 50 or more years old included in UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD) between January 1995 and March 2008 . Persistence with osteoporosis medications was estimated as the proportion of women who continued therapy at 6 months and at 1, 3, and 5 years. During the study period, there were 66,116 women who had a first-ever prescription for an oral bisphosphonate, oral raloxifene, or oral strontium ranelate. Diagnosis of osteoporosis was not an inclusion criterion and the most frequent female co-morbidities were heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic liver disease. Overall, women were continuing with osteoporosis therapy at 6 months after the index date in the full study population in 44% of episodes and in 32%, 16%, and 9% of episodes at 1, 3, and 5 years later, respectively. At 6 months from initiation, monthly ibandronate treatment and weekly alendronate and risedronate treatment had the highest persistence rates, 56.8%, 52.8, and 53.1%, respectively. Daily alendronate and strontium ranelate had the lowest persistence rates (27.0% and 30.0%, respectively). The authors concluded that persistence with osteoporosis therapies had improved over the study period, but persistence in the first 6 months remained below 50%, leaving a large unmet need to improve the management of postmenopausal women through novel adherence programs and therapies.
Faustino R. Pérez-López
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Institute of Biomedicine, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador