By Victoria Tzouma, Sr. Manager, International Government Affairs & Policy
Osteoporosis has a significant burden on the European population and health systems, with 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 experiencing a fragility fracture in their lifetime.1 This will often lead to a loss of mobility, independence and reduced quality of life.2 More concerning, hip fractures double the risk of death3 and increase the risk of subsequent fractures.4 Yet, the majority of people with fragility fractures are not being diagnosed and treated with effective therapies that could reduce this risk. EU healthcare systems pay almost €57 billion annually5 for fragility fractures, which is significantly higher than for many other leading chronic diseases. As the United Nations have declared 2021-2030 as the decade of healthy ageing, now is the time to prioritise bone health and implement policies to address its clinical and economic burden across Europe. The “Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures: a Policy Toolkit”, created by the Health Policy Partnership in 2020 and funded by Amgen, calls for immediate action at European, national and local levels and provides building blocks for an effective policy response.