Sunday, 27 March 2011

Rationed osteoporosis drug is 17 times more effective

Millions of women are being denied the benefits of an osteoporosis drug that is far more effective than the standard treatment, new research suggests.

An in-depth study found that strontium ranelate is 17 times better at boosting bone formation than the medication usually given to sufferers of the crippling condition.

It is also far easier to take than the recommended drug, which requires patients to stand or sit for half an hour after taking it and can cause stomach pains.

But strontium ranelate, which costs more than six times as much as the standard medication, is strictly rationed in England to older women at high risk of suffering fractures or who cannot take the usual drug, called alendronate.

Professor Roger Frances, from the Institute for Ageing and Health at the University of Newcastle, said: “These results are so important for patients as strontium ranelate is a proven drug that is already available on the NHS. This study clearly suggests that strontium ranelate helps patients to build new bone to a far greater extent than alendronate, the current standard of care.”

Source: Telegraph

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