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    Latest Osteoporosis News - September 14th 2009

    General Osteoporosis and Lifestyle News

    Following on from last weeks news about the osteonecrosis Fosamax case between Merck and 71 year old Ms. Burke, it has been reported by Reuters that the case has been recorded as a mistrial. According to many reports the jury room was very argumentative and passionate about the case with an arm chair being thrown across the table at one point! The Judge ordered a two day cooling off period. Although this case is currently at mistrial it will do nothing to relay the fears of Merck over the fosamax drug; there are a further 900 cases awaiting trial. It is thought that the first result either for or against the company will set a high precedent for the remaining court cases.

    Reuters also reports on a presentation by Amgen at the American Society for Bone Mineral Research 31st annual meeting. The presentation was focused on why women stop using osteoporosis treatments and focused on three main points, those of convenience, of drug effectiveness and of side effects suffered by the user. The presentation raised the concern that patients who did not stick to their osteoporosis drug therapy would be more likely to suffer from bone fractures, leading to higher costs related with hospitalization.

    The daily telegraph has reported about the British government's strategy for the treatment of osteoporosis lacking any sense of logic. The article is based upon comments by professor David Reid. The professor puts forward that the current system makes it too difficult for patients to switch treatments following side effects (on first use of a drug. He states that 25% of patients given treatment by alendronic acid may get side effects associated with indigestion. But that government measures mean that a patient may have to wait for five years (when their bones have deteriorated to a more significant level before being able to take more expensive drugs. The figures of how much bones have to deteriorate to be prescribed a certain type of drug are given as 20% for Risedronate and 60% for Protelos.

    Latest Osteoporosis Research

    Research results have indicated that the osteoporosis treatment drug Reclast, may help to reduce the amount of hip fractures by 35% and the incidence of death by 25% in elderly people following a one year infusion of the drug. The research was carried out by Doctor Lyles of Duke University Medical Center in the United States and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Reclast drug is a form of Zoledronic acid (also known as Zometa), but put forward for a patent of different use than the one already approved by the FDA.

    Sticking to the subject of Zoledronic acid, Erikson (working for Novartis in Switzerland) and his collaborators (who include Dr. Lyles above), report on a case study involving 2127 patients. The work published in the journal of bone and mineral research looks at how the timing of the first dose of the treatment impacts anti fracture efficacy and mortality. The results suggested that given treatment of zoledronic acid within two weeks of a low trauma hip fracture leads to an increase in bone mineral density and subsequent reductions in both hip fractures and vertebral and non vertebral fractures; and in a reduction of mortality rate.

    Featured Osteoporosis Site

    This week we recommended our osteoporosis news roundup readers to take a look at is the university of Illinois extension website. The site is split into six short sections which give an overview of the subject: topics include risk factors, thinning bones, healthy diet, and why we get osteoporosis. The site also carries an are you at risk calculator. Although the pages are short they cover the basics of osteoporosis well, and are a good starting point for people wanting to find out more about the condition.

    Recommended Reading

    As always I end the osteoporosis newsletter with an article from the osteoporosis advice website that readers should find useful. Today we look at Calcium. Calcium, when took in conjunction with vitamin D has been shown to have a great impact in the prevention of osteoporosis. It is a very easy mineral to add to ones diet, being widely available in common foods such as milk, salmon, almonds and Broccoli (which is especially recommended as it is a great source of vitamin D); here is a calcium rich food list.

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