PHARMAC is pleased to provide another treatment option for patients with severe osteoporosis following the funding of denosumab, brand name Prolia, from 1 July 2018.
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures, and is common in people aged 50 years and over.
PHARMAC Director of Operations Lisa Williams says that denosumab will provide people with osteoporosis a chance of reducing injuries that can have a big impact on their daily lives.
“Osteoporosis is a serious illness that causes bone fractures and this can significantly affect the quality of life for people who have it,” says Ms Williams.
“The most significant injuries can be hip or vertebrae fractures. This can result in long recovery times, affecting the ability of people to live normal lives. Denosumab will reduce the chance of these serious injuries.
“Funding this treatment will not only help patients with osteoporosis, but also reduce the burden on carers as well. More than 3000 people over three years are expected to benefit from this funding decision.”
Denosumab will be available to eligible people who have severe osteoporosis, are unable to take zoledronic acid as a treatment, and have tried other funded treatments and still experienced a fracture.
“We’re pleased that people provided feedback during consultation asking for denosumab to be extended to men as well,” says Ms Williams. “We were able to take that feedback to our clinical advisers who said that men would experience the same benefit as women, and we amended our funding criteria as a result.”
People with osteoporosis should talk to their health professional to see if denosumab is suitable for them.
More information can be found on funding notification listed on the PHARMAC website.