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Canadians Living with Osteoporosis Have Access to a New Treatment Option

Provinical Governments List Aclasta on Public Drug Plans

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Osteoporosis Canada congratulates the Ontario government, the New Brunswick government, the Saskatchewan government and the British Columbia government for providing access to a new osteoporosis medication. Aclasta (zoledronic acid) is now available on public and private drug plans in Ontario, BC, SK, and NB meaning Canadians at high risk for fractures have access to increased treatment options.

"With the announcement of Aclasta available on public and private drug plans, individuals living  with osteoporosis in these provinces will have access to another option for the treatment of this debilitating disease," said Dr. Famida Jiwa, president and CEO, Osteoporosis Canada. "While Osteoporosis Canada applauds the many provincial governments for increasing access, the organization continues to work with other provinces and territories to ensure that all patients with osteoporosis have options and access to the medications they need."

The Criteria for Aclasta

All Osteoporosis patients in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick covered by their provincial drug plan or by private drug plans now have access to Aclasta, a new treatment for those with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.

Aclasta is recommended for

  • The treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, as a once-yearly intravenous infusion, to reduce the incidence of hip, vertebral and non-vertebral fractures
  • The treatment to increase bone mineral density in men with osteoporosis, as a once-yearly intravenous infusion
  • The treatment and prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, to increase bone mineral density, as a once-yearly intravenous infusion
  • The prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women with osteopenia as a single intravenous infusion
  • The treatment of Paget's disease of the bone in men and women, as a single-dose intravenous infusion

Special Authority criteria

For women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, for whom oral bisphosphonates are contraindicated due to abnormalities of the esophagus (e.g. ., stricture or achalasia).

Since the Special Authorization criteria varies between provinces and plans, it is recommended to patients to discuss reimbursement eligibility with their treating physicians.

About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis could strike you or someone you love. It is a silent disease that affects nearly two million Canadians. The risk of a major osteoporotic fracture in Canada is among the highest in the world. Yet, despite the high prevalence of fractures, they are often not appropriately assessed or treated, leaving osteoporosis undiagnosed and undertreated. Broken bones are associated with devastating health consequences including pain, decreased quality of life, loss of independence, and even death. Preventing new fractures for those who have already had an osteoporotic fracture is Osteoporosis Canada's top priority. In 2010, Osteoporosis Canada issued new Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Osteoporosis in Canadai that help physicians and patients better identify the risk of fracture, resulting in better fracture prevention and better management of osteoporosis overall.

Additional osteoporosis statistics:

  • Almost two million Canadians are living with osteoporosis.
  • More than 90 per cent of hip fractures in Canada occur in those over age 60.
  • In the first year after a vertebral or hip fracture, there is at least a doubling in the risk of death.
  • There are about 30,000 hip fractures each year in Canada; many more Canadians suffer osteoporotic fractures affecting the spine, wrist, shoulder, and pelvis.
  • A 50-year-old woman has a 40 per cent chance of developing a hip, vertebral or wrist fracture during her lifetime.ii
  • More than one quarter of hip fractures in Canada occur in men.
  • The one-in-six lifetime risk of hip fracture is greater than the one-in-nine lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.iii
  • One in four women who have a new vertebral fracture will fracture again within one year.iv

About Osteoporosis Canada

Osteoporosis Canada, a registered charity, is the only national organization serving people who have or are at risk for osteoporosis. In keeping with its vision of a Canada without osteoporotic fractures, the organization works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities in the risk-reduction and treatment of osteoporosis by providing medically accurate information to patients, health professionals and the public. For more information, visit

i Papaioannou A et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in Canada. CMAJ. 2010; 1-10.
ii Melton LJ III, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C, Lane AW, Riggs BL. Perspective: how many women have osteoporosis? J Bone Miner Res. 1992; 7:1005-10.
iii Cummings SR, Black DM, Rubin SM. Lifetime risks of hip, colles', or vertebral fracture and coronary heart disease among white postmenopausal women. Arch Intern Med. 1989; 149:2445-8.
iv Lindsay R, Burge RT, Strauss DM. One year outcomes and costs following a vertebral fracture. Osteoporosis Int. 2005; 16:78-85.

SOURCE Osteoporosis Canada

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