TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Osteoporosis Canada is pleased to
announce that two new provinces, Manitoba and Newfoundland and
Labrador, are providing access to a new class of osteoporosis
treatments. With Manitoba (effective November 24, 2011) and
Newfoundland and Labrador listing denosumab (Prolia®) on their
provincial formularies, women with postmenopausal osteoporosis at risk
for fractures now have access to increased treatment options. Denosumab
is a targeted therapy in a new class of osteoporosis medications for
postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.
"Osteoporosis Canada congratulates the provinces of Manitoba and
Newfoundland and Labrador for recognizing the treatment needs of
postmenopausal women with osteoporosis," said Dr. Famida Jiwa,
President & CEO, Osteoporosis Canada. "Osteoporosis Canada will
continue to work with officials in other provinces and territories to
ensure that all patients with osteoporosis have options and access to
the medications they need."
These announcements come just months after the provinces of Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Quebec listed denosumab on their public
formularies. At present time, coverage for denosumab is restricted to
postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who fulfil fairly restrictive
criteria in all provinces except Quebec, which is providing coverage
without such restrictions.
"The Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador listings of denosumab on
their drug plans is a positive step forward for postmenopausal women
with osteoporosis, as it supports physicians' efforts in treating this
debilitating disease," said Dr. Bill Leslie, Chair, Scientific Advisory
Council, Osteoporosis Canada. "The devastating health consequences
caused by osteoporosis can be prevented with effective treatments. That
is why it is critically important to provide patients with access to
all therapeutic options."
Despite these listings, patients' access to osteoporosis treatments in
Canada is limited and varies across the country. Currently, the most
commonly prescribed drugs for this disease are bisphosphonates.
Denosumab offers a new alternative that is in a completely different
class of medications called RANK ligand inhibitors.
"Patients with osteoporosis deserve to have access to treatment options
to help prevent broken bones. More treatment options mean that doctors
have more choice in how to best treat osteoporosis," said Larry
Funnell, Chair, Canadian Osteoporosis Patient Network (COPN).
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
Additional osteoporosis statistics:
Almost 2 million Canadians are living with osteoporosis.
Over 90% 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.
Each year in Canada there are about 30,000 hip fractures - many more
Canadians suffer osteoporotic fractures affecting the spine, wrist,
shoulder, and pelvis.
A 50-year-old woman has a 40% chance of developing hip, vertebral or
wrist fractures during her lifetime.2
Over one-quarter of hip fractures in Canada occur in men.
The 1 in 6 lifetime risk of hip fracture is greater than the 1 in 9
lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.3
1 in 4 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.
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
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