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PHARMAC To Subsidise New Osteoprosis Drug

Media Release
Pharmaceutical Management Agency Ltd

PHARMAC delivers good news for patients with severe osteoporosis

PHARMAC has agreed to subsidise another medicine for the treatment of severe osteoporosis.

The drug, alendronate (brand name Fosamax), is used to treat those patients with severe osteporosis. It will be available fully subsidised to patients with low bone mass density (-3), and who have had two previous osteoporotic fractures.

The decision comes into effect on February 1.

General Manager Wayne McNee says the decision will help improve the quality of life for those patients suffering from severe osteoporosis, and shows PHARMAC is committed to meeting the health needs of New Zealanders.

“PHARMAC recognises the seriousness of osteoporosis, which impinges on the quality of life for patients. This decision should make life more comfortable for this group.”

Wayne McNee says the drug is expensive, with the decision expected to cost $1 million a year, but the benefits for these patients balance the cost. Alendronate is about four times more expensive than another treatment for osteoporosis, etidronate, which has been fully subsidised for many years.


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