Charity urges Health Professionals to make careful decisions on patient fracture risk in light of NICE bisphosphonate guidance

30 Sep 2016

The National Osteoporosis Society is calling for all health professionals to ensure they make careful decisions considering all aspects of a patient’s fracture risk before stopping osteoporosis drugs so patients at risk don’t miss out on the drug treatments they need.

The call follows publication of new guidance for health professionals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for patients with multiple health conditions to have their medications systematically reviewed to make sure they continue to provide benefit rather than harm.

The new NICE guidance states that, as part of a treatment review, clinicians should discuss stopping bisphosphonates after 3 years of treatment and include “patient choice, fracture risk and life expectancy in the discussion”.

National Osteoporosis Society clinical advisors argue this discussion between patient and doctor is vitally important as fracture risk may still be high in many patients after 3 years of treatment and they may benefit from continuing their medication.

Professor Neil Gittoes, Consultant & Honorary Professor of Endocrinology at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the National Osteoporosis Society’s Clinical and Scientific Committee said it was vitally important those at high risk of fracture didn’t miss out on the full benefits of the medication that can help them.

“The National Osteoporosis Society regularly hears from people on osteoporosis drug treatments with multiple vertebral fractures who have had their medication stopped without any explanation or discussion.

It is essential that health professionals properly engage with their patients to discuss the risks and benefits of all medications, including those for osteoporosis, as part of an individualised treatment plan to prevent as far as possible disabling, painful fractures occurring.”

Read our response to the NICE guidance here.

If you are taking bisphosphonates and have any concerns, talk to your doctor or get in touch with our Helpline at 0808 800 0035 or via

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