It is estimated that in 2001 only 12 percent (or 1.8 million of 14.9 million) of women aged 65 and older with osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mass) received a Medicare-reimbursed BMD test to detect the disease. The study presented today projects that testing 180,000 (or just 10 percent) additional women with osteoporosis or osteopenia would reduce the incidence of osteoporotic fractures at the hip, spine and wrist by more than 6,500 over three years and result in net Medicare savings.
"The vast majority of the women over age 65 at risk of osteoporotic fracture remain undiagnosed and untreated," said Kenneth Saag, M.D., Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an author of this study. "Medicare savings from avoided fractures could be used to subsidize patient costs, education and other interventions that have been shown to increase overall osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment rates. This would ultimately prevent more fractures and provide patient benefit while further reducing Medicare costs."
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1.5 million osteoporosis fractures occur in the United States each year, and 80 percent of these occur in postmenopausal women.
About the Study
The study estimated the Medicare budget impact of a 10 percent increase in BMD testing in 2001 in women age 65 and older with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Cost and fracture outcomes were assessed over three years (2001-2003). For the osteopenic women tested, the study conservatively assumed that pharmacologic therapy would not measurably reduce fractures. The analysis focused on two sub-groups: high risk (osteoporosis with prevalent vertebral fracture) and moderate risk (osteoporosis without prevalent vertebral fracture). Fracture incidence rates and costs, population size, distribution, mortality and side effects of osteoporosis therapy were estimated from Medicare databases or published literature.
Testing an additional 180,000 women aged 65 and older with osteoporosis or osteopenia was estimated to reduce the incidence of hip, spine and wrist fractures by 6,683 over three years. This reduction in fractures led to a calculated overall Medicare budget savings of $15.5 million over three years. Direct medical costs were reduced by $32.3 million, but these savings were partially offset by higher BMD test costs ($12.1 million) and increased adverse event costs ($4.7 million) for patients initiating therapy after BMD testing. Net patient costs were estimated to increase by $12.9 million over three years. Savings in direct patient medical costs ($11.4 million) were offset by increases in costs for BMD testing ($2.4 million), bone-specific agents ($20.7 million), and adverse events ($1.2 million).
The study was sponsored by The Alliance for Better Bone Health.
About The Alliance for Better Bone Health
The Alliance for Better Bone Health was formed by Procter & Gamble and Aventis in May 1997 to promote bone health and disease awareness through numerous activities to support physicians and patients around the globe.
About Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is celebrating 165 years of providing trusted quality brands that make every day better for the world's consumers. P&G markets nearly 300 brands in more than 160 countries around the world. The P&G community consists of nearly 102,000 employees working in almost 80 countries worldwide. P&G Pharmaceuticals is part of P&G's Health Care global business unit. P&G Pharmaceuticals is focusing in the areas of endocrinology, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases. Please visit www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.
Aventis (NYSE: AVE) is dedicated to improving life by treating and preventing human disease through the discovery and development of innovative pharmaceutical products. Aventis focuses on prescription drugs for important therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, diabetes, respiratory/allergy, anti-infectives as well as on human vaccines. In 2001, Aventis generated sales of € 17.7 billion ($15.8 billion), invested approx. € 3 billion ($2.7 billion) in research and development and employed approximately 75,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters is in Strasbourg, France. The company's prescription drugs business is conducted in the U.S. by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Aventis Pharmaceuticals was recently named one of the top companies to work for by Working Mother magazine. For more information about Aventis in the U.S., please visit: www.aventis-us.com.
Copies of this release are available on the Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Web site at http://www.
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Statements in this news release other than historical information are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of competition, the outcome of litigation, and the effectiveness of patent protection. Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set forth in the current Annual Report on Form 20-F of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ORAL PRESENTATION AT ACR MEETING: Monday, October 28, 4:00- 5:30 PM CST
"Clinical Osteoporosis" Session, Moriel Convention Center, Rm. 275-277