ALL CANADIAN WOMEN AT INCREASED RISK OF BROKEN BONES ONE STEP CLOSER TO HAVING ACCESS TO A NEW TREATMENT OPTION

QUEBEC SHOWS LEADERSHIP IN SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH OSTEOPOROSIS

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Today Quebec is providing access to a therapy in a new class of osteoporosis treatments. With Quebec being the first province to list Prolia® (denosumab) on public and private drug plans, Canadians living with osteoporosis in the province of Quebec now have access to increased treatment options.

"Canadians living with osteoporosis deserve access to all proven treatments for the disease," said Dr. Famida Jiwa, President & CEO, Osteoporosis Canada. "Osteoporosis Canada urges all Canadian provinces and territories to follow Quebec's lead, and provide patients access to all approved therapeutic options. Osteoporosis Canada continues to work with officials in each province and territory to ensure that all patients with osteoporosis have options and access to the medications they need."

Despite the positive news in Quebec, patient access to osteoporosis treatments in Canada is limited and varies across the country. In addition, some patients have difficulty tolerating currently available osteoporosis therapies.

"The Quebec listing of Prolia on drug plans is good news for individuals with osteoporosis since it will ultimately support physicians to better treat this debilitating disease," said Dr. Jacques Brown, Member, Osteoporosis Canada Scientific Advisory Council. "The devastating health consequences caused by osteoporosis can be prevented with effective treatments. That is why it is critically important to have access to effective medications to treat osteoporosis no matter the province where you live."

All women in Quebec covered by the provincial drug plan or by private drug plans now have access to Prolia (denosumab), a new treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture. Prolia is listed as a médicament d'exception for the treatment of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis who cannot take an oral bisphosphonate due to a serious intolerance or contraindication.

"All we want is for patients with osteoporosis to have access to a range of treatment options to help prevent broken bones. More treatment options mean that doctors can pick from a variety of drugs to treat osteoporosis," said Larry Funnell, Chair, Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN). "Having Prolia available on public and private drugs plans in Quebec means almost half a million women with osteoporosis will gain access to a new treatment option so they can hopefully live better with this disease."

Osteoporosis could strike you or someone you love. It is a silent disease that affects nearly two million Canadians. A 50-year-old woman has a 40% chance of developing hip, vertebral or wrist fractures during her lifetime. Yet, despite the high prevalence of fractures, they are not appropriately assessed or treated, leaving osteoporosis undiagnosed and undertreated. These fractures have 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. Osteoporosis Canada's new guidelines help physicians and patients better identify the risk of fracture, resulting in better fracture prevention and better management for Canadians that suffer from osteoporosis.

Some additional osteoporosis statistics:

  • One in four women and one in eight men over 50 have osteoporosis.
  • Less than 40% of fracture patients in Canada currently undergo investigation or adequate treatment for osteoporosis.
  • At least 80% of fractures in people 60+ are related to osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis causes 70-90% of the 30,000 hip fractures than occur in Canada each year.
  • Of the patients who fracture a hip, 23% die within the next year.
  • The one in six lifetime risk of hip fracture is greater than the one in nine lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
  • One in four women who have a new vertebral fracture will fracture again within one year.

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 our 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.

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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