UK healthcare system offers new osteoporosis treatment

A new treatment for women who have an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures will be available as part of the National Health Service (NHS) - which is a publicly funded healthcare system in the UK.

The treatment - called denosumab and marketed under the trade name Prolia - targets cells that break down bones, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fracture, the Press Association reports. The drug is given as an injection and is designed to mimic the body's system of controlling the breakdown of bones.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued its final recommendation on denosumab, and said it was "good news" for post-menopausal women with osteoporosis.

Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation director at NICE, said, "We are pleased to be able to recommend denosumab to help prevent osteoporotic fractures in post-menopausal women at increased risk of fracture who are unable to take oral bisphosphonates. Denosumab joins the range of treatments that NICE has already advised should be available on the NHS, to help stop a fracture from occurring in the first place, or to help women who have previously had a fracture."

Approximately eight million women and two million men have osteoporosis in the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
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