Better education needed on genetic link to osteoporosis

  • 19/10/2020
  • Press Release
  • Study shows many of us don’t know osteoporosis is a genetic disease
  • One in three women and one in five men will suffer fracture as a result of the condition
  • International awareness day seeks to improve understanding


Huddersfield, October 2020:

In the run-up to World Osteoporosis Day on October 20th), new research revealed a Europe-wide lack of understanding about bone health.

STADA Group, the parent company of Thornton & Ross (T&R), found that less than a quarter of us Brits – just 22 per cent – were aware that osteoporosis was a genetic disease. In this respect, Brits matched the 22% average across Europe.

A lack of awareness can lead to delays in treatment, with precious few realising that the onset of the condition can be delayed by taking supplements and exercise.

Osteoporosis is one of the 10 most common chronic diseases worldwide – yet many of us are still unaware of potential treatments and that an early diagnosis can help prevent damage to bones.

One in three women and one in five men aged over 50[1] will suffer a fracture related to the condition at some point in our lives.

A total of 24,087 people were surveyed across 12 European countries as part of the STADA 2020 Health Report[2].  More than one third of the 2,000 Brits questioned, (36 per cent) admitted to not having any idea whether diseases including osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and breast cancer are linked to genetics – the highest proportion in the survey.

Italians were the best informed, with over a quarter aware of the genetic predisposition to osteporosis; in Russia, however, only one in 10 was aware. Across Europe as a whole, women were generally better informed than men.

T&R has a strong track record of supplying the NHS with bone health products including Fultium®D3 a prescription vitamin D3 , Accrete® a fixed combination of calcium and vitamin D3 and Movymia® Teriparatide, an alternative, cost-effective treatment for osteoporosis.

It was launched last year when the patent for Forsteo® Teriparatide – an approved osteoanabolic therapy for osteoporosis in the UK – expired. Movymia® will offer the NHS a Teriparatide which has been evaluated by the European Medicines Agency and deemed to be similar to Teriparatide but at a more a cost-effective list price[3] than Forsteo Teriparatide. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing guidelines on lower acquisition costs that may open up access to the treatment to more patients.

Roger Scarlett-Smith, executive vice-president at T&R, said awareness events such as World Osteoporosis Day played an important role in educating people about the causes and treatment of the condition. “Our figures show that we are not particularly well-informed when it comes to understanding the links between genetics and conditions such as osteoporosis, despite it being one of the most chronic diseases,” he said.

“A better understanding can lead to an earlier diagnosis, which in turn can help prevent damage through the correct treatment.”

T&R develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of branded over-the-counter medicines, dermatological solutions and other healthcare and hygiene products including KY Jelly®, Zoflora®, Hedrin® and Setlers® at its headquarters in Huddersfield. Also included in the company’s portfolio and pipeline are specialty medicines, including biosimilars for treating conditions such as osteoporosis.






[3] List price of £235 compared with £271.88.