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Making fragility fractures a public health priority

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    Osteoporosis affects an estimated 200 million people worldwide. The disease makes bones porous and fragile, increasing the risk of fragility fracture and as we age that risk increases. In fact, worldwide, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience a fragility fracture.

    UCB is working with scientists, health professionals, patients and policymakers to highlight the value of preventing fragility fractures. At a recent political event in Almedalen, Sweden, we teamed up with the Swedish Osteoporosis Patient Association to call for political action on integrated care for people having experienced a fragility fracture.

    The event has helped put osteoporosis and the impact of fragility fractures on the agenda in Sweden by highlighting the disease burden. Half a million Swedes are affected by osteoporosis and about 70,000 osteoporosis-related fractures occur each year. These fractures lead to 450,000 hospital days per year - only stroke causes more hospital days. We had a positive message: structured post fracture care models (in Sweden also known as ‘fracture chains’) can support diagnosis, treatment and care of people living with osteoporosis.

    The Osteoporosis Patient Association presented a new report, jointly developed with UCB, on osteoporosis and post fracture care. It revealed that:
    • Just 12% of patients are treated despite the clear 30%national target on management and prevention of fragility fractures
    • Treatment levels across regions is linked to the level of ‘fracture chain’ implementation; suggesting that ‘fracture chains’ are effective at facilitating diagnosis and treatment. Fracture chains are already making an impact in some regions but are not yet available to all Swedish patients. By sharing good practice with others in Sweden – and beyond – experts and patients hope to learn from one another and raise standards for all.
    UCB’s support for this report, and our participation in the event, illustrates our commitment to improving outcomes for patients affected by severe diseases. As ever, we do this by engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and working to turn the best of medical science into solutions that patients need.

    We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders, including others in industry who share our goals, to deliver value for the health system and for citizens.

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