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SDI Reports: Roughly Half of Patients Prescribed the Most Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Discontinue Therapy Within 6 Months -- Amgen's Prolia Offers New Dosing Option
Date:6/14/2010

According to SDI, about half of patients beginning therapy on popular osteoporosis drugs discontinue their treatment within 6 months. Amgen’s Prolia is the newest product to enter the market. Prolia differs from existing therapies as it is given every 6 months via injection.

(Vocus) June 14, 2010 -- According to a recent analysis by SDI, a leading healthcare market insight and analytics firm, about half of patients beginning therapy on popular osteoporosis drugs discontinue their treatment within 6 months. Amgen’s Prolia, which was recently approved for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk of fracture, or patients who could not tolerate other osteoporosis therapies, is the newest product to enter the market. Prolia differs from existing therapies as it is given every 6 months via injection.

Currently, alendronate, sometimes filled as Fosamax but more frequently as the generic equivalent, is the most popular treatment for osteoporosis. In the 12 months ending April 2010, alendronate accounted for almost 24% of drug issuances for the condition.

Generic alendronate is most often dispensed as a once-weekly therapy. SDI found that 49% of new alendronate patients had discontinued the drug 6 months later. Another 3% had switched to another therapy. After 12 months, 61% of new alendronate patients had discontinued therapy.    

The weekly form of Actonel had similar discontinuation rates. Fifty-four percent of patients taking Actonel once a week had discontinued therapy 6 months after starting; 64% had discontinued after 12 months.

The once-a-month version of Actonel fared slightly better after 6 months with only 47% of patients having discontinued therapy. But at 12 months, 63% had discontinued. The oral form
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