Effect of dosing frequency on bisphosphonate medication adherence in a large longitudinal cohort of women

Robert R. Recker, Rich Gallagher, Paul E. MacCosbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare medication adherence with daily vs weekly bisphosphonate dosing for the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis in a broad US retail pharmacy database population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From October 2002 through September 2003, the medication possession ratio (MPR = days of supply/ 365 days) was used to assess medication adherence. The MPR was calculated by use of daily and weekly bisphosphonate doses in a longitudinal cohort of patients who received prescriptions from 14,000 US retail pharmacies. Patient prescription information was from a database accessed through NDCHealth in Atlanta, Ga. Adequate adherence was defined as sufficient medication supply to ensure antifracture efficacy (MPR, ≥80%). The effects of patients' age, method of prescription payment, and pattern of past osteoporosis medication use on medication adherence also were evaluated. RESULTS: Of 211,319 study patients, 177,552 (84%) were taking weekly bisphosphonates vs 33,767 (16%) taking the daily prescription. Although significantly more patients taking the weekly compared with the daily bisphosphonates had adequate medication adherence, only about one third of patients in the daily dosing group and fewer than one half in the weekly dosing group achieved adequate adherence. Patients new to bisphosphonates had the worst medication adherence over the year (25.2% for weekly vs 13.2% for daily dosing; P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-861
Number of pages6
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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