GPs are ignoring NICE bone drug

Forty per cent of GPs are ignoring NICE guidance and not prescribing generic alendronate as a first-line treatment for osteoporosis, survey findings reveal.

The survey involved 200 GPs across the UK and was conducted by the market research company TNS.

A total of 28 per cent of GPs did not believe that generic bisphosphonate treatment was suitable for all women with osteoporosis, with 43 per cent citing side-effects as the reason for their reluctance to prescribe it.

The findings come as leading osteoporosis experts call for GPs to follow guidance issued by the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group instead of NICE (GP, 31 October).

Commenting on the survey findings, Dr Alun Cooper, chairman of the National Osteoporosis Society's primary care forum, said: 'The general principle is to prescribe generics first, but it is not always possible.

'If a GP has seen a patient who has suffered side-effects with alendronate then that is likely to alter their behaviour and they may prescribe alternatives.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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