Background: New bone-directed therapies, including denosumab, abaloparatide, and romosozumab, emerged during the past decade, and recent trends in use of these therapies are unknown.
Objective: To examine temporal trends in bone-directed therapies.
Design: An open cohort study in a US commercial insurance database, January 2009 to March 2020.
Participants/interventions: All-users of bone-directed therapies age >50 years, users with osteoporosis, users with malignancies, and patients with recent (within 180 days) fractures at key osteoporotic sites.
Main measures: The percentage of each cohort with prescription dispensing or medication administration claims for each bone-directed therapy during each quarter of the study period.
Key results: We analyzed 15.48 million prescription dispensings or medication administration claims from 1.46 million unique individuals (89% women, mean age 69 years). Among all users of bone-directed therapies, alendronate, and zoledronic acid use increased modestly (49 to 63% and 2 to 4%, respectively, during the study period). In contrast, denosumab use increased rapidly after approval in 2010, overtaking use of all other medications except alendronate by 2017 and reaching 16% of users by March 2020. Similar trends were seen in cohorts of osteoporosis, malignancy, and recent fractures. Importantly, use of any bone-directed therapy after fractures was low and declined from 15 to 8%.
Conclusions: Rates of denosumab use outpaced growth of all other bone-directed therapies over the past decade. Treatment rates after osteoporotic fractures were low and declined over time, highlighting major failings in osteoporosis treatment in the US.