Comparison of the proportion of patients potentially treated with an anti-osteoporotic drug using the current criteria of the Belgian national social security and the new suggested FRAX((R)) criteria

Olivier Bruyere*, M. Fossi, B. Zegels, L. Leonori, M. Hiligsmann, A. Neuprez, J.Y. Reginster

*Corresponding author for this work

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To assess the number of anti-osteoporosis treatments that would be reimbursed by the Belgian social security if either FRAX or the current criteria were used to determine access to reimbursement. This is a retrospective study based on data from 1,000 women randomly selected from an outpatient hospital specialized in bone metabolism in Belgium. Proportions of potentially refunded treatments between FRAX and current criteria were compared. Out of the 1,000 women files, 890 have sufficient information to assess FRAX. In Belgium, current criteria include a bone mineral density (BMD) T score below -2.5 at the lumbar spine, the femoral neck or the total hip and/or at least a prevalent vertebral fracture. Using these criteria, 167 women (18.8 %) would have access to reimbursement. Using the criteria based on the validated Belgian FRAX tool, only 116 women (13.0 %) would have access to reimbursement, meaning that access to reimbursement based on FRAX criteria would reduce by 30 % the anti-osteoporosis drug expenses covered by the national social security. Interestingly, only 65 women out of the 116 (56.0 %) selected with the FRAX criteria were also selected with the current criteria of the national social security. A substantial proportion of individuals that would potentially receive a reimbursement for their treatment using the FRAX criteria do not have access to any refund for their treatment with the current criteria. Since patients identified with the FRAX tool are those with the highest risk profile for future fractures, reappraisals of treatment reimbursement guidelines are expected in Belgium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-978
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • FRAX
  • Osteoporosis
  • Drug
  • Economic evaluation
  • Reimbursement

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