IOF supports UK charity call for NICE guidance changes

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The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has backed the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS, UK) in their criticism of NICE guidance on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
NICE guidance restrictions on treatment particularly affect the frail elderly population

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has backed the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS, UK) in their criticism of NICE guidance on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Judy Stenmark, IOF Chair of the Committee of National Societies said “we support any initiative that is moving forward to improve care for osteoporosis patients but in this instance we do not believe this is the case.”

“Bone health is important for personal quality of life and preventing fractures is an important cost saving issue in any healthcare system,” she said.

Prof Juliet Compston, Chair of the EU Osteoporosis Consultation Panel, said “there are still major gaps in care, around the world, that deny many people the opportunity for timely osteoporosis treatment to prevent fractures. Instead of leading fracture prevention policies, the UK is lagging behind.”

The National Osteoporosis Society labelled the new NICE guidance as short-sighted. Nick Rijke, Public and External Affairs Director at the NOS, stated ”we remain deeply dissatisfied with the guidance that NICE has produced.”

The main issues are;
• women who cannot tolerate alendronate must wait and become significantly worse before they are eligible for alternate treatments in the UK. This particularly affects the frail elderly population
• men at high risk of fracture and men and women taking steroids are excluded from the guidance, as are newer treatments such as ibandronate and zoledronate
• NICE guidance is highly influential in many other countries, and uncritical acceptance is likely to affect millions of sufferers of osteoporosis and their carers in many regions of the world
• the WHO-supported Fracture Risk Assessment Tool. FRAX®, is not incorporated in NICE guidance

The IOF backs the NOS in calling for a fresh appraisal of the NICE guidance.

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