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Osteoporosis treatment – Vitamin D is the most cost-effective – April 2019

Cost-effectiveness of antiosteoporosis strategies for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis in China.

Menopause. 2019 Apr 15. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001339
Li N1,2, Zheng B1,2, Liu M1,2, Zhou H1, Zhao L2, Cai H1,2, Huang J3.


Cost of 40 years of treatment (for similar benefits)

Calcium/vitamin D $3,800
Alendronate $9,800
Raloxifene $13,400

Items in both categories Calcium and Osteopososis are listed here:

Overview Osteoporosis and vitamin D contains the following summary

  • FACT: Bones need Calcium (this has been known for a very long time)
  • FACT: Vitamin D improves Calcium bioavailability (3X ?)
  • FACT: Should not take > 750 mg of Calcium if taking lots of vitamin D (Calcium becomes too bio-available)
  • FACT: Adding vitamin D via Sun, UV, or supplements increased vitamin D in the blood
  • FACT: Vitamin D supplements are very low cost
  • FACT: Many trials, studies. reviews, and meta-analysis agree: adding vitamin D reduces osteoporosis
  • FACT: Toxic level of vitamin D is about 4X higher than the amount needed to reduce osteoporosis
  • FACT: Co-factors help build bones.
  • FACT: Vitamin D Receptor can restrict Vitamin D from getting to many tissues, such as bones
  • It appears that to TREAT Osteoporosis:
  •        Calcium OR vitamin D is ok
  •        Calcium + vitamin D is good
  •        Calcium + vitamin D + other co-factors is great
  •        Low-cost Vitamin D Receptor activators sometimes may be helpful
  • CONCLUSION: To PREVENT many diseases, including Osteoporosis, as well as TREAT Osteoporosis
  • Category Osteoporosis has 217 items
  • Category Bone Health has 308 items

Note: Osteoporosis causes bones to become fragile and prone to fracture
  Osteoarthritis is a disease where damage occurs to the joints at the end of the bones

Falls and Fractures category contains the following summary



Osteoporosis has become an important public health problem in China, especially among elderly postmenopausal women. Massive amounts of medical and health resources have been devoted to patients with osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. This study estimated the cost-effectiveness of alendronate, zoledronate, raloxifene, teriparatide, and calcium/vitamin D as treatments for osteoporosis in elderly postmenopausal women in China from the medical system perspective.

A Markov model was constructed by using TreeAge Pro 2015 software. This model simulated the disease process over 40 years in response to the five investigated therapeutic strategies. Each cycle lasted for 1 year. The model parameters included Chinese epidemiological data, clinical effectiveness, cost, and utility. Total treatment costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were estimated, and incremental cost-effectiveness analysis was performed. Univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to verify the model.

The calcium/vitamin D strategy, zoledronate, alendronate, teriparatide, and raloxifene offered patients 10.24, 10.83, 10.70, 10.88, and 10.54 QALYs at the cost of $3,799.72, $8,425.61, $9,849.89, $34,843.72, and $13,353.33 for over 40 years, respectively. The alendronate and raloxifene strategies were eliminated because they were less effective and more expensive than the other strategies. The base-case analysis revealed that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of the zoledronate strategy relative to those of the calcium/vitamin D strategy were $7,864.59/QALY. This result indicated that the zoledronate strategy was more cost-effective than other strategies and was within the willingness-to-pay threshold of China ($28,624/QALY). The ICERs of the teriparatide versus zoledronate strategies were $4,70,797.08/QALY, which exceeded the threshold.

From the perspective of the Chinese medical system, zoledronate is more cost-effective than the calcium/vitamin D strategy, alendronate, raloxifene, and teriparatide for the treatment of osteoporosis in elderly postmenopausal women. Not factoring the parameters of adherence and persistence in, and consequent variability in treatment effectiveness relative risks, seems like a major limitation, but it can be speculated that it would not change the conclusion that zoledronate is the most economical strategy.

Created by admin. Last Modification: Sunday April 21, 2019 14:58:05 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 8)