Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Strontium ranelate for the treatment of osteoporosis

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 16 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1400

Rapid Response:

Bone densitometry is a scarce resource

In my neck of the woods - the south-west peninsula of the UK - the
current wait for bone mineral densitometry (DEXA scanning)is somewhere in
the region of 18 months. The thought that this very scarce resource might
now be used in part to check on compliance with treatment of patients
taking strontium is depressing. The latest NICE guidelines more or less
insist that anti-osteoporotic treatments shouldn't be started without DEXA
scans, so the pressure is growing rapidly just for diagnostic purposes,
never mind follow-up scans to assess response to treatment or compliance.
There is a cheaper, simpler, and less harmful way of checking compliance:
first, check the computer records to see that prescriptions are being
issued; and second, fix the patient in the eye and ASK them!

Dougal Jeffries

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 June 2005
Dougal J Jeffries
St Mary's H.C., Isles of Scilly TR21 0NE