Thousands of people are set to benefit from the first new treatment for osteoporosis for over a decade

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Over 20,000 people with severe osteoporosis who are at high risk of fracture could be eligible for a new treatment—romosozumab—which helps to form bone and increase existing bone strength.

Osteoporosis leads to nearly 9 million fractures around the world each year, and over 300,000 people per year attend hospitals in the UK with fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Current treatments for people with severe osteoporosis after menopause include bisphosphonates, such as alendronic acid, and other types of medicines, such as denosumab or teriparatide.

A clinical trial showed that people who took romosozumab before alendronic acid had a 50% lower relative risk of vertebral fractures over 24 months than people having alendronic acid alone.

Analysis also showed that the risk of non-vertebral fractures was 19% lower for people who had romosozumab before alendronic acid, compared with those having alendronic acid alone.

‘Clinically significant results’

Helen Knight, acting director for medicines evaluation at NICE, said: ‘People with severe osteoporosis often have a poorer quality of life. Fractures due to osteoporosis can lead to hospital stays and limit people’s mobility and independence. Romosozumab has shown clinically significant results that could have a huge impact on the lives of people who have severe osteoporosis.

‘Romosozumab is the only drug available that can help to form bone as well as increase existing bone strength. It is the first new treatment for osteoporosis for several years and I’m delighted we have been able to recommend this drug as an option for people with severe osteoporosis.’

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