New evaluation of osteoporosis therapies

San Diego, CA (May 15, 2003) -- In a new analysis, gastrointestinal (GI)-related medical expenses for osteoporosis patients initiating therapy with Fosamax® (alendronate sodium tablets) were nearly three times higher than for those patients initiating therapy with Actonel® (risedronate sodium tablets). The data were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

The evaluation assessed the medical costs to managed care organizations for outpatient visits (e.g., hospital outpatient and physician office visits), inpatient care (e.g., hospitalization) and prescriptions for gastro-protective agents, over the first four months of therapy. In this analysis, the average monthly cost for GI-related medical treatment was $2.52 per Actonel patient, compared to $7.40 per Fosamax daily patient and $7.50 per Fosamax weekly patient. Inpatient visits -- typically expensive components in overall medical care -- were 0.2 visits (per 100 patients per month) for Actonel, and 1.2 and 1.6 visits (per 100 patients per month) for Fosamax daily and Fosamax weekly, respectively.

"Extent of inpatient care was the main reason for the difference in GI-related medical costs," said Natalie Borisov, PhD, health economist at P&G Pharmaceuticals, who led the evaluation. "GI-related medical costs are a factor that managed care organizations take into consideration when evaluating the cost profile of an osteoporosis therapy."

Treating patients with a weekly dose of Fosamax versus a daily dose did not markedly change the level of GI-related medical expense or number of inpatient visits that these patients experienced.

Analysis Details
The economic evaluation was conducted with a large medical and pharmaceutical claims database licensed from the health care consulting service, Protocare Sciences. The analysis included 3,947 subjects (93 percent women) age 65 years or older who initiated tr


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