Fracture prevention drug available to NHS Scotland

GPs in Scotland can now offer fracture prevention treatment denosumab on the NHS after the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) accepted the drug for use in women with osteoporosis.

The SMC approved the drug, marketed as Prolia, for treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It should be restricted to use in patients with low bone mineral density and for whom oral bisphosphonates are unsuitable, the consortium said.

The drug has been available in England since it was approved by NICE in October.

Denosumab is given by injection twice a year. Research showed that after three years of treatment, patients were less likely to suffer fractures than a placebo group.

The SMC said it accepted denosumab for restricted use in NHS Scotland because it is effective at a similar cost to some other medicines used for osteoporosis. In addition, it said the method of administration is likely to increase compliance with the treatment regime.

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