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Patterns of teriparatide and sequential antiresorptive agent treatment among elderly female Medicare beneficiaries

J Bone Miner Res. 2021 Sep 7. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.4439.

The 2020 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists guidelines for assessing osteoporosis among postmenopausal women stratified postmenopausal women with osteoporosis to "high" and "very-high" fracture risk categories and recommended anabolic agents as initial therapy followed by an antiresorptive agent. Switching the order can blunt the effect of anabolic agents, and failing to follow with an antiresorptive can lead to loss of bone generated by the anabolic agent. It would be helpful to understand the real-world prescribing patterns of anabolic agents. Using the 2010-2015 Medicare 100% osteoporosis database, we assessed patient profiles, teriparatide prescribers, persistence of teriparatide therapy, and antiresorptive agent use after teriparatide discontinuation among elderly women who initiated teriparatide from 2011 to 2013. This study included 14,786 patients. In the year before teriparatide initiation, 30.0% of them had a fracture, 67.6% had a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scan, 74.4% had a diagnosis of osteoporosis, and 47.9% used antiresorptive agents (non-naïve teriparatide users). Among those who had fractures, 49.4% initiated teriparatide within 3 months postfracture. Teriparatide was prescribed for 37% of users by primary care doctors, 19% by rheumatologists, 13% by endocrinologists, and 7.0% by orthopedists. Median time of teriparatide use was 7.2 months. After teriparatide discontinuation, 40.8% switched to antiresorptive agents (31.9% among naïve teriparatide users, 50.5% among non-naïve users). Among switchers, 42.5% switched within 60 days, 50.5% switched to denosumab, and 31.6% switched to oral bisphosphonates. This study of real-world prescribing data found that about half of teriparatide users switched from an antiresorptive agent, and less than half switched to antiresorptive agents after teriparatide discontinuation. Persistence of teriparatide use was suboptimal. In the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis, increasing the persistence of teriparatide use and improving the appropriate treatment sequence of anabolic and antiresorptive drugs are critical to maximizing gains in bone mass, providing the greatest protection against fractures.

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