DESTIN, Fla. — Although there are many medications that can reduce the risk for, and the burden of, osteoporotic fractures, most of those drugs are not being used, and the osteoporosis treatment gap is “very large,” according to E. Michael Lewiecki, MD, FACP, FACE, of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.
“Probably only about 20% of patients with a hip fracture, for example, are followed up with the medication to reduce the risk for the next fracture, even though fracture risk is very high,” Lewiecki told Healio Rheumatology. “This has been identified as a crisis in the care of osteoporosis, with a call to action to do more to change this.”
Lewiecki also discussed the Bone Health TeleECHO project at the University of New Mexico, which helps educate providers of various specialties regarding osteoporosis. According to Lewiecki, providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, rheumatologists and endocrinologists, meet weekly to present cases and learn from each other.
“In essence, it recapitulates the learning method we are all very familiar with from our training after medical school,” he said. “It’s great fun, it’s a community of practice where we all benefit from knowledge that each of us have, and it’s kind of a cross-pollination of specialties as well.”
Disclosure: Lewiecki reports board membership with the Osteoporosis Foundation of New Mexico.