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31-10-2010 | Bone health | Article

Osteoporosis patients have well-defined treatment preferences


Free abstract

MedWire News: Patients with osteoporosis prefer treatments to be administered subcutaneously rather than orally and are willing to pay for medical support at home rather than be hospitalized for treatment, a study in Spain has shown.

These findings are important for the decision-making process between doctor and patient and could also impact policy decision-making on a larger scale, say Josep Darba (Universitat de Barcelona) and colleagues, who carried out the discrete choice experiment to identify patient preferences for different aspects of osteoporosis treatments in Spain.

The researchers assessed three elements of osteoporosis treatment: Type of administration (daily or weekly oral, daily subcutaneous, or yearly intravenous), place of administration (self administration, medical support, or hospitalization), and the maximum price patients would be willing to pay to receive a specific type of treatment (€10, €50, or €100; US $14, $70, or $140).

Participants were presented with a pair of hypothetical treatment options and were asked which of the two profiles they preferred. For example daily oral administration with medical support, at a cost of €10 per month versus self-administered daily oral administration, at a cost of €10 per month.

In all, 166 patients (95% women, mean age 69 years) responded to nine discrete choice sets.

Darba and team report that patients were willing to pay €142 (US $198) per month to have a subcutaneous injection once per day rather than a tablet once daily or weekly free of charge. They were also willing to pay €183 (US $255) per month to have a subcutaneous injection once a day rather than an intravenous injection once a year free of charge.

With regards to the place of administration, patients were willing to pay €59 (US $82) per month to have the drug administered at home with medical support rather than self-administer the treatment at home without support.

Furthermore, patients were willing to pay €121 (US $168) per month to have medical support when administering the drug treatment at home rather than be admitted to hospital for several hours to undergo treatment.

"Understanding patient preferences for prevention of osteoporotic fractures is especially important given that adherence to these medications is poor," write Darba and co-authors in the journal Osteoporosis International.

Given their findings, the researchers conclude: "The perspective of the patients should be taken into account when making treatment decisions."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Laura Dean

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