Adherence and profile of non-persistence in patients treated for osteoporosis-a large-scale, long-term retrospective study in The Netherlands

J. C. Netelenbos*, P. P. Geusens, G. Ypma, S. J. E. Buijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We analyzed 12-month compliance for all ten oral osteoporosis drugs in the Netherlands by medication possession ratio (MPR a parts per thousand yenaEuro parts per thousand 80%) in 105,506 patients, and persistence in 8,626 starters indicated high MPR (91%), low persistence (43%), and no restart in 78% of the stoppers after 18 months. We studied compliance and persistence for all available oral osteoporosis medications on a national scale in the Netherlands. We analyzed the IMS Health's longitudinal prescription database, which represents 73% of all pharmacies in the Netherlands. Twelve-month compliance was measured by medication possession ratio (MPR) in a cross-sectional cohort of 105,506 patients who received at least three prescriptions. Twelve-month persistence (no gap in refills for > 6 months) was measured in all 8,626 consecutive patients starting therapy, with a further follow-up in non-persistent patients during an additional 18 months for evaluation of switching, restart, or definitive stopping oral medication. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) of characteristics of non-persistence. MPR of a parts per thousand yen80% was found in 91% of patients. Persistence was 43% (range, 29-52%). Persistence was related to age > 60 years (ORs, 1.41 to 1.64), pharmacy outside very dense urban area (ORs, 1.39 to 1.44), additional use of calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation (OR, 1.26 and CI, 1.13, 1.39) and use of glucocorticoids (OR, 0.65 and CI, 0.59, 0.72) or cardiovascular medication (OR, 0.88 and CI, 0.79, 0.97). Of non-persistent patients, 22% restarted within 18 months with oral osteoporosis drugs. One-year compliance for all available oral osteoporosis medications was high, but 1-year persistence was low. Most stoppers did not restart or switch during an additional 18-month follow-up. These data indicate a major failure to adequately treat patients at high risk for fractures in daily practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1537-1546
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Adherence
  • Compliance
  • Non-persistence
  • Oral osteoporosis medication
  • Persistence


Dive into the research topics of 'Adherence and profile of non-persistence in patients treated for osteoporosis-a large-scale, long-term retrospective study in The Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this