Background The objectives of the physician survey component of the MUSIC OS-AP study were to describe physicians’ approaches to treatment of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis and to understand the influence of gastrointestinal (GI) events on treatment in clinical practice. Methods Physicians were recruited from 5 Asia-Pacific countries. Questionnaires collected information about physicians’ standard practices for treatment of patients with osteoporosis, as well as their perspectives on the influence of GI events on osteoporosis treatment approaches. Results A total of 59 physicians participated in the study. The most frequently prescribed or recommended treatments were vitamin D (84% of patients), calcium (82%), and oral bisphosphonates (59%). When choosing a medication for treatment-naïve patients, GI sensitivity was often or always a factor for 79% of physicians. Among physicians not prescribing pharmacologic treatment, a mean of 18% of non-prescriptions were due to GI sensitivity. For patients with pre-existing GI conditions, physicians most frequently ranked use of non-oral osteoporosis medication as the first treatment strategy (47%), followed by co-prescription with a proton pump inhibitor or other gastro-protective agent (31%). For patients developing GI symptoms after starting pharmacologic treatment, the most frequently first-ranked management strategy was to check if patients were taking their osteoporosis medication correctly as prescribed (64%), followed by temporary discontinuation of the medication (i.e., a drug holiday) until GI events have resolved (31%) and co-prescription with a proton pump inhibitor or other gastroprotective agent (24%). Conclusions These results suggest that GI events influence the prescribing practices of physicians in the Asia-Pacific region and sometimes result in non-treatment of women with osteoporosis.
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Osteoporosis, postmenopausal
- Osteoporosis/drug therapy
- Practice patterns, physicians’