Determinants of non-compliance with bisphosphonates in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis

Fernie J.A. Penning-van Beest, Joëlle A. Erkens, M. Olson, Ron M.C. Herings

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify determinants of non-compliance with bisphosphonates in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. By considering the year of the introduction of weekly bisphosphonates important additional information is obtained. Methods: New female users of daily or weekly alendronate or risedronate between 1999 and 2004, aged ≥ 45 years were identified from PHARMO RLS, including drug-dispensing and hospitalisation data of > 2 million residents of the Netherlands. One-year compliance with bisphosphonates was measured using the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR). To identify determinants of non-compliance, non-compliant women (MPR < 50%) were compared to compliant women (MPR ≥ 80%). The effect of patient age, prescriber, initial dosing regimen, gastrointestinal adverse events, co-medication and fractures on non-compliance was investigated. Results: The study cohort included 8822 new users of bisphosphonates, of whom 5079 (58%) were compliant and 2720 (31%) were non-compliant after 1 year. Only 1023 women (11%) had a MPR between ≥ 50% and < 80%. Daily dosing at start, increased number of co-medications and new use of intestinal agents in the year after starting bisphosphonates were independently associated with an increased odds of non-compliance. In contrast, higher age, first prescription from a specialist, osteoporosis related hospitalisation and use of NSAIDs in the year preceding bisphosphonate therapy decreased the odds of non-compliance. Conclusion: This study revealed several determinants of non-compliance with bisphosphonates, the best controllable being the type of initial bisphosphonate, with daily dosing leading to more non-compliance than weekly dosing. However, compliance for both regimens is suboptimal, pointing to an unmet medical need.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1344
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent medical research and opinion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Bisphosphonates
  • Co-medication
  • Determinants
  • Dosing frequency
  • Non-compliance
  • Osteoporosis

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