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Independents' Day

Osteoporosis drug launch

The first in a new class of

osteoporosis drugs that stimulate the growth of new bone has been flagged up by a

Government research body as having a 'significant clinical impact' on treatment of the disease.

But the cost of teriparatide (Forsteo), believed to be around £270 a month ­ 10 times higher than alendronate or risedronate ­ means it will be reserved for use by consultants in extreme cases, said Dr Jonathan Reeve, a GP and head of the Medical Research Council bone research group at the University of Cambridge.

Forsteo, launched last week, was assessed by the National Horizon Scanning Group that flags up drugs likely to have important clinical or financial implications for the NHS.

It is administered by daily subcutaneous injection and treatment may only need to be given for about 18 months rather than many years.

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