A recent online survey has found that physicians in the United States tend to prefer weekly or monthly regimens when prescribing treatment for patients with osteoporosis. Findings are published in Clinical Interventions in Aging.

Researchers set out to study physicians’ prescribing considerations, preference for osteoporosis therapies, and view of patients’ compliance with oral bisphosphonates. They surveyed 158 physicians identified in the HealthCore Integrated Research Database (HIRD) that prescribed oral bisphosphonates to females aged ≥55 years old. Physicians were asked to predict patient persistence and compliance and assess possible reasons for noncompliance. 

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Major considerations when deciding whether to treat a patient with osteoporosis were bone mineral density (94.9%), long-term medication use such as corticosteroids (88.6%), and a history of fracture (86.7%). Most physicians showed a preference for prescribing weekly (54.4%) or monthly (34.2%) oral bisphosphonates for both newly diagnosed patients and long-term users (40.5% and 36.1%, respectively). A drug holiday was always incorporated into their prescribing regimens by 23.4% of physicians and sometimes incorporated by 58.9% of physicians. 

Regarding compliance, 17.7% of physicians predicted that less than half of patient would be compliant in the first year, and 29.7% predicted compliance past 1 year. Among surveyed physicians, major reasons for noncompliance with oral bisphosphonates were drug intolerance due to a gastrointestinal condition (71.5%) and drug side effects (69.6%). 

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