Women With Osteoporisis in Ontario Have Access to a New Treatment Option

Ontario Government Lists Prolia on Public Drug Plans

TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Osteoporosis Canada congratulates the Ontario government for providing access to a therapy in a new class of osteoporosis medications. Prolia® (denosumab) is now available on public and private drug plans in Ontario, meaning women with postmenopausal osteoporosis at high risk for fractures have access to increased treatment options.

"With the announcement of Prolia available on public and private drug plans in Ontario, women with osteoporosis in Ontario will have access to novel therapeutic options for the treatment of this debilitating disease," said Dr. Famida Jiwa, president and CEO, Osteoporosis Canada. "While Osteoporosis Canada applauds the Ontario government for increasing access, the organization continues to work with other provinces and territories to ensure that all patients with osteoporosis have options and access to the medications they need."

"The listing of denosumab on drug plans means that physicians in Ontario are better able to manage this disease in postmenopausal women at high risk of fracture as they have increased options for treatment," said Dr. Bill Leslie, Chair, Scientific Advisory Council, Osteoporosis Canada. "In the end what's imperative is that women with osteoporosis are able to access all medications to treat this debilitating disease."

Ontario Government Criteria for Denosumab
All women in Ontario covered by the provincial drug plan or by private drug plans now have access to denosumab, a new treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.

Denosumab is recommended for women with postmenopausal osteoporosis who A) have experienced a further significant decline in bone mineral density (BMD) after one year of continuous bisphosphonate therapy, or B) would otherwise be eligible for jurisdictional funding for oral bisphosphonates, but for whom bisphosphonates are contraindicated due to hypersensitivity or abnormalities of the esophagus (e.g., esophageal stricture or achalasia). In both cases, women must also meet at least two of the following criteria: be older than 75 years; experienced a prior fragility fracture; or have a BMD T-score of ≤-2.5.

"If you have a debilitating disease, such as osteoporosis, it is critical to be able to access all medications that can help to improve your health and well being," said Larry Funnell, chair, Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN).

About Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis could strike you or someone you love. It is a silent disease that affects nearly two million Canadians. The risk of a major osteoporotic fracture in Canada is among the highest in the world. Yet, despite the high prevalence of fractures, they are often not appropriately assessed or treated, leaving osteoporosis undiagnosed and undertreated. Broken bones are associated with devastating health consequences including pain, decreased quality of life, loss of independence, and even death. Preventing new fractures for those who have already had an osteoporotic fracture is Osteoporosis Canada's top priority. In 2010, Osteoporosis Canada issued new Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Osteoporosis in Canada1 that help physicians and patients better identify the risk of fracture, resulting in better fracture prevention and better management of osteoporosis overall.

Additional osteoporosis statistics:

  • Almost two million Canadians are living with osteoporosis.
  • More than 90 per cent of hip fractures in Canada occur in those over age 60.
  • In the first year after a vertebral or hip fracture, there is at least a doubling in the risk of death.
  • There are about 30,000 hip fractures each year in Canada; many more Canadians suffer osteoporotic fractures affecting the spine, wrist, shoulder, and pelvis.
  • A 50-year-old woman has a 40 per cent chance of developing a hip, vertebral or wrist fracture during her lifetime.2
  • More than one quarter of hip fractures in Canada occur in men.
  • The one-in-six lifetime risk of hip fracture is greater than the one-in-nine lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.3
  • One in four women who have a new vertebral fracture will fracture again within one year.4


About Osteoporosis Canada
Osteoporosis Canada, a registered charity, is the only national organization serving people who have or are at risk for osteoporosis. In keeping with its vision of a Canada without osteoporotic fractures, the organization works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities in the risk-reduction and treatment of osteoporosis by providing medically accurate information to patients, health professionals and the public. For more information, visit www.osteoporosis.ca.

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1 Papaioannou A et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in Canada. CMAJ. 2010; 1-10.

2 Melton LJ III, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C, Lane AW, Riggs BL. Perspective: how many women have osteoporosis? J Bone Miner Res. 1992; 7:1005-10.

3 Cummings SR, Black DM, Rubin SM. Lifetime risks of hip, colles', or vertebral fracture and coronary heart disease among white postmenopausal women. Arch Intern Med. 1989; 149:2445-8.

4 Lindsay R, Burge RT, Strauss DM. One year outcomes and costs following a vertebral fracture. Osteoporosis Int. 2005; 16:78-85.


SOURCE Osteoporosis Canada

For further information:

or to arrange an interview with an Osteoporosis Canada spokesperson, please contact:

Matthew Rocheford
Osteoporosis Canada
(416) 696-2663

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Osteoporosis Canada

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