CLINICAL EVALUATION OF COST EFFICACY OF DRUGS FOR TREATMENT OF OSTEOPOROSIS: A META-ANALYSIS

Stewart G Albert, Supraja Reddy

Endocrine Practice 2017 April 27

 

OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost efficacy of available regimens for therapy of osteoporosis as defined as the cost time’s number need to treat to prevent one fracture.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Existing meta-analyses were supplemented through electronic databases SCOPUS and PubMED between 2013 (a date overlapping the latest meta-analyses) and March 2016. Primary references included all randomized controlled trials of anti-osteoporotic drugs versus comparators using search terms “osteoporosis”, “random” and “trial”. Results There were 43 evaluable randomized double blind placebo controlled trials in 71,809 postmenopausal women comparing fracture frequency. Trials were similar in recruitment age 67.3 (SD±8.1) years, and follow up duration of 25.5 (±12.6) months. Cost comparisons were evaluated for a treatment strategy assuming generic alendronate as first line therapy. Denosumab and teriparatide showed benefits in vertebral fracture reduction over alendronate at incremental costs respectively of $46,000 and $455,000 per fracture prevented. Zoledronate, recently released as a generic, would be either less expensive or comparable in cost. None of the alternate medicines were statistically better in preventing hip fractures. Teriparatide was more effective in preventing non-vertebral fractures at an incremental cost of $1,555,000.

CONCLUSION: The most cost effective initial therapy of post-menopausal osteoporosis is generic oral alendronate or generic parenteral zoledronate. There is no statistical difference in efficacy of available drugs to prevent hip fractures. There is limited data to suggest switching drugs after sustaining an osteoporotic fracture while on oral alendronate therapy, although generic zoledronate may be considered on the basis of side effects or questions of medication adherence.

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