Despite the long-term positive effects of osteoporosis drugs, many Americans avoid those drugs, fearing the potential side effects. According to a joint statement from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), and the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA), "untreated osteoporosis is a public health crisis." The statement was released in response to a 2015 Icelandic study that tracked osteoporosis patients over a 16-year period.
A New York Times article about the study highlighted the results of the study: "Reports of the drugs’ causing jawbones to rot and thighbones to snap in two have shaken many osteoporosis
patients so much that they say they would rather take their chances
with the disease. Use of the most commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs
fell by 50 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to a recent paper, and doctors say the trend is continuing."
Osteoporosis, a weakening of bones, is often a concern for elderly patients though women are also at a higher risk for the condition. The ASBMR reports that "more US women die each year from complications of hip fracture than from breast cancer."
According to the ASBMR, "[b]y 2025, osteoporosis will be responsible for 3mil fractures & $25.3b in costs - annually."
ASBMR/NOF/NBHA Official Statement
Fearing Drugs' Rare Side Effects, Millions Take Their Chances with Osteoporosis (NY Times, 06/01/2016)
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