Background: Osteoporosis is a common condition among the elderly population, and is associated with an increased risk of fracture. One of the most common fragility fractures involve the distal radius, and are associated with risk of subsequent fragility fracture. Early treatment with bisphosphonates has been suggested to decrease the population hip fracture burden. However, there have been no prior economic evaluations of the routine treatment of distal radius fracture patients with bisphosphonates, or the implications on hip fracture rate reduction. Methods: Age specific distal radius fracture incidence, age specific hip fracture rates after distal radius fracture with and without risendronate treatment, cost of risendronate treatment, risk of atypical femur fracture with bisphosphonate treatment, and cost of hip fracture treatment were obtained from the literature. A unique stochastic Markov chain decision tree model was constructed from derived estimates. The results were evaluated with comparative statistics, and a one-way threshold analysis performed to identify the break-even cost of bisphosphonate treatment. Results: Routine treatment of the current population of all women over the age of 65 suffering a distal radius fracture with bisphosphonates would avoid 94,888 lifetime hip fractures at the cost of 19,464 atypical femur fractures and $19,502,834,240, or on average $2,186,617,527 annually, which translates to costs of $205,534 per hip fracture avoided. The breakeven price point of annual bisphosphonate therapy after distal radius fracture for prevention of hip fractures would be approximately $70 for therapy annually. Conclusion: Routine treatment of all women over 65 suffering distal radius fracture with bisphosphonates would result in a significant reduction in the overall hip fracture burden, however at a substantial cost of over a $2 billion dollars annually. To optimize efficiency of treatment either patients may be selectively treated, or the cost of annual bisphosphonate treatment should be reduced to cost-effective margins.
Bisphosphonates , Distal radius fracture , Hip fracture , Osteoporosis , Risendronate