New Bone Thinning Med: Coming Soon
People with osteoporosis—thinning of the bones—currently have few options for treatment, but a large clinical drug trial recently showed promising results. The study showed that abaloparatide, which is expected to win FDA approval, prevents fractures and promotes bone growth in people with osteoporosis at least as well as another drug on the market.
Osteoporosis affects about 10 million Americans—80 percent of whom are women. It weakens bones and often progresses, leading to pain and disability. Bone loss occurs naturally with aging—weight-bearing exercise, a healthy diet, and other measures can help prevent it to some degree—but osteoporosis involves abnormal bone loss that can cause serious fractures, especially of the hip and spine.
At this time, there is only one drug on the market that has been shown to build bone. Called Forteo, the drug is expensive and often not covered by insurance. Another, less expensive, class of drugs—bisphosphonates—can slow bone loss, but not strengthen the bones.
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