Intended for healthcare professionals


Advice given to patients with fractures

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 19 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1698

Drug treatments that reduce fracture rate are underused after vertebral fractures

  1. David J Torgerson, Senior research fellow (,
  2. Paul Dolan, Senior lecturer in economics
  1. Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York YO10 5DD
  2. Sheffield Health Economics Group and Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DA
  3. Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ

    EDITOR—We recently undertook a cost analysis of osteoporosis, which showed that the disease is probably more costly than earlier estimates quoted by Pal suggested.1 We estimated that the total annual cost of fractures in a United Kingdom population is around £940 million, with hip fractures costing roughly £12 000 each.2 More importantly, using data from the general practice research database, like Pal we found little evidence that patients who had sustained a fracture were being offered treatment.3 The table (taken from our paper) summarises our results.

    View this table:

    Number of patients receiving at least one prescription for drug that reduces fracture rate (HRT, calcium, vitamin D, bisphosphonate) in years before and after hip, wrist, or …

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