October 26, 2018
2 min read

Cost containment, coordinated care programs needed for fragility fractures

Report finds local policy solutions may help promote, fund and implement better patient care.

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Fragility fractures had an estimated associated annual cost of 37.5 billion euros and an associated physical and emotional impact in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, according to a report from the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

According to the report, at 37.5 billion euros per year, fragility fracture costs exceed those of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis and hypertension, and the annual costs for these fractures are expected to increase to 47.4 billion euros by 2030. Patients were five times more likely to experience a second fracture within 2 years after a fragility fracture, according to the report’s findings, which also showed 60% to 85% of women over 50 years of age with osteoporosis do not receive treatment.

“This massive treatment gap, which is consistently observed in all geographies, reflects the low importance that has been given to fragility fractures to date, creating an extreme urgency to prioritize post-fracture care in aging societies before costs get out of control,” the International Osteoporosis Foundation report said.

Post-fracture coordinated care models can help promote, fund and implement care solutions. The most common coordinated care model is the Fracture Liaison Service, which has been shown to reduce further fractures while lessening the burden on health care and on individuals at a reasonable level of investment, according to the report.

However, the International Osteoporosis Foundation noted that local policy solutions adapted to the specifics of health care systems and policies should be considered within and across countries.

“With the rising burden of fragility fractures imposing on health care systems across Europe, it is our ambition that these reports can support stakeholders in taking the necessary actions to cut associated costs and stop broken bones from breaking lives,” Cyrus Cooper, OBE, MA, DM, FRCP, FFPH, FMedSci, president of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, said in a press release about the new report. “As the economic stranglehold of fragility fractures tightens on health care systems, now is the time to take action and up-scale our response to this silent threat. We call on health authorities to accelerate this process by prioritizing care standards and funding to support the effective management of fragility fractures, thus avoiding escalation of related costs.” – by Casey Tingle


Broken bones, broken lives: A roadmap to solve the fragility fracture crisis in Europe. Available at: http://share.iofbonehealth.org/EU-6-Material/Reports/IOF%20Report_EU.pdf. Accessed Oct. 23, 2018.

Burden of fragility fractures costing European health care systems unnecessary billions, new IOF report warns. Available at: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/news/burden-fragility-fractures-costing-european-healthcare-systems-unnecessary-billions-new-iof. Accessed Oct. 23, 2018.