A national survey found an alarming number of osteoporosis patients are not taking their medication as prescribed, sighting forgetfulness as the main reason, and heightening their risk of bone loss and fractures.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Elizabeth Cullen hasn't taken her medication for nearly a year. This would usually because for concern, but in this case it's all right. She is one of the few osteoporosis patients benefiting from a new treatment which she only receives once a year. Elizabeth Cullen: I was diagnosed with osteoporosis about seven years ago. I have received the few different medications over that time. Problem I have those at -- I didn't tolerate them very well or quite honest I forgot to take them. It's difficult to remember to take a medication once a month or even once a week. So when the doctor suggested that there is this new drug, that I can take once a year, come to the hospital, receive it by infusion for 15 minutes and go home and forget about for a year. I thought that was a great solution to my problem. Sherri Dmyterko: It's estimated that one in four women in Canada over the age of 50 is living with osteoporosis. A new national survey finds that despite improving treatments in diagnosis, more than 40% of patients do not take their treatment at the frequency and dosage prescribed. Putting their health at risk. Dr. Angela Cheung is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Angela Cheung: These women actually know they have osteoporosis. They know treatment will help prevents fractures, and reduce bone loss. But they are not taking the medications. It is concerning as a treating physician that these women are not taking the medications, because unless you take them, they are not going to have the benefit of the medication. Sherri Dmyterko: Convenience seems to be a big factor of play. The survey shows that nearly half of patients sight forgetfulness as the main reason why they don't always take their medication. In fact, 82% of osteoporosis patients said, they would take their medication as prescribed, if it was administered only once a year. Angela Cheung: Based on the survey results physicians should really discuss different treatment options for osteoporosis with their patients. Certainly with a once year of the infusion option, both patient and physician don't have to worry about compliance issues for whole year. Sherri Dmyterko: This national survey with conducted by Harris/Decima in collaboration with the Medical Women's International Association and top Canadian osteoporosis experts. In an effort to encourage Canadian women to discuss treatment options with their physicians to reduce the risk of fractures. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.

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