Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 179–188

Risedronate versus alendronate in older patients with osteoporosis at high risk of fracture: an Italian cost-effectiveness analysis


    • pbe consulting
    • Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Padova
  • Stefania Maggi
    • CNR Aging SectionInstitute of Neuroscience
  • Marianna Noale
    • CNR Aging SectionInstitute of Neuroscience
  • Stefania Lopatriello
    • pbe consulting
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF03324794

Cite this article as:
Berto, P., Maggi, S., Noale, M. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2010) 22: 179. doi:10.1007/BF03324794


Background and aims: This evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of risedronate vs generic alendronate is based on effectiveness data from a large real practice study. Applying a published cost-effectiveness model, we found that risedronate is cost-effective vs generic alendronate in an Italian population aged ≥65 years, and becomes dominant, saving costs and avoiding fractures, in patients aged ≥75 years. The aim of this work was to assess the cost-effectiveness and health utility of risedronate vs generic alendronate in clinical practice in Italy, using effectiveness data from the REAL study. Methods: A pre-existing model of osteoporosis was used to predict numbers of fractures, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and costs associated with risedronate or alendronate treatment in post-menopausal (PMO) women aged ≥65 years with a previous vertebral fracture, within the Italian National Health System (NHS). Duration of treatment with risedronate or alendronate was assumed to occur for one year and patients were followed for an additional five years to capture long-term costs and outcomes, with a discount rate of 3% for costs and outcomes. Comprehensive sensitivity analyses were run. Results: The lower fracture rate among risedronate patients with respect to alendronate patients resulted in savings of € 19,083, a reduction of 8.91 hip fractures and an associated benefit of 7.46 QALYs, in an Italian cohort of 1,000 patients. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these results. Conclusions: This economic analysis showed that risedronate is a cost-effective treatment in a population of Italian women aged 65 years and older at high risk of PMO-related fractures. Risedronate becomes dominant over generic alendronate in patients of 75 years or older and its cost-effectiveness even appears improved in patients with BMD score <—3 or <—3.5, with/without maternal history of fractures. Risedronate should be considered as a cost-effective option vs generic alendronate, in the Italian NHS’ perspective.


Cost-effectiveness analysiscost/QALYeconomicsgeneric alendronateosteoporosisrisedronate

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2010