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Save the Date! Workshop on osteoporotic drugs and prevention

Dr. Lyndon Joseph
Lyndon JOSEPH,
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG)

Sticks and stones aren’t the only things that can break your bones—osteoporosis is also a main cause. In fact, 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men over age 50 will break a bone because of low bone mass or poor bone quality. In addition to pain, fractures in older people can lead to disability, impaired quality of life, and increased mortality.

To better understand current knowledge gaps in osteoporosis research and identify future needs in using osteoporosis drugs, NIH is hosting a Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Workshop: Appropriate Use of Drug Therapies for Osteoporotic Fracture Prevention. The workshop will take place on October 30 – 31, 2018, on the NIH campus in Bethesda. It’s co-sponsored by the NIA, the NIH Office of Disease Prevention, and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

The workshop is free and open to the public—including researchers, practitioners, advocates, patients, and their families. See more information about how to register below.

Input needed on major questions

This P2P workshop will address the following questions:

  • How do osteoporotic drugs benefit us and what risks do we run—including major adverse events—when we take them?
  • Over the short term (3 to 5 years)?
  • Over the longer term?
  • Do we all enjoy the same benefits? Or face the same risks?
  • What patient and clinician factors matter?
  • Do drug holidays help?

Bisphosphonates—the first-line drug treatment for most people with osteoporosis—have proven effective with short-term use among people with a high risk of fracture. But, the benefits of long-term treatment on fracture prevention are less clear.

For example, we don’t have detailed scientific data about the appropriate long-term use of many osteoporosis drugs. We don’t know who will benefit or who may be harmed by long-term use; the once-promising decline in the incidence of osteoporotic fractures has now levelled off. These changes have raised concerns among the public and within medical and professional communities: Drugs are not being prescribed for many people who might need them and people with prescriptions are not taking the drugs.

We also have limited evidence about drug holidays—when a patient stops taking a drug for a specified period of time and then resumes taking the drug. We don’t know when to start them, how long they should last, and which patients might benefit from them.

Register now!

We look forward to a lively session. Registration is required and we strongly encourage in-person attendance. You can register for the workshop and get additional information online. The workshop will also be videocast.

I hope you’ll be able to join us for this important workshop. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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