NICE to rethink osteoporosis guidelines

Osteoporosis campaigners have won an appeal against NICE draft guidelines on treatment options for the condition.

The outcome has raised hopes that a greater range of treatments for the prevention of primary and secondary osteoporotic fractures could be recommended for use on the NHS.

Charities including the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), the British Society for Rheumatology, the Society for Endocrinology and the Bone Research Society called for a rethink after a final appraisal determination issued in June featured only alendronate as a treatment for osteoporosis.

As one in four people are unable to tolerate the drug, the charities were concerned that without alternatives, some osteoporosis patients may miss out on treatment.

Chief executive of the NOS Claire Severginini said: ‘I am extremely pleased the appeal committee has listened.

‘NICE should not have changed the original scope of the guidance without full and proper consultation and this outcome is a real success for the charity.’

NICE said its intention in the draft guideline was to make it easier for at-risk women to access osteoporotic drugs.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE clinical and public health director, said: ‘The appeal panel decided we did not go about this in the right way.

‘The appraisal committee therefore will reconsider all of the drugs which were part of the appraisal to produce guidance on treatment options for patients in whom alendronate is contraindicated, poorly tolerated or ineffective.’

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