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Letter to the editor
Editor, – Your recent comment on our product Fortéo (teriparatide) (Aust Prescr 2004;27:21-3) was an informative and well-rounded review, however, I would like to address a couple of points.
Your final paragraph states: 'Until more data are available teriparatide should only be prescribed for patients who have a high risk of fractures and cannot take other treatments for osteoporosis'.
In fact, the product information approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for the use of teriparatide states:
Fortéo is indicated for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and the treatment of primary osteoporosis in men when other agents are considered unsuitable and when there is a high risk of fractures.
While this may seem like a small change in wording, it is actually a significant consideration for those prescribing Fortéo.
A published paper helps to place the rat osteosarcoma issue in context. It concluded that: 'in adult humans† it is unlikely that the risk of bone neoplasia would be increased by daily treatment with PTH (1-34) for a relatively small fraction of the normal life span'.1
Medical Advisor Endocrine
Eli Lilly Australia
West Ryde, NSW
- Vahle JL, Sato M, Long GG, Young JK, Francis PC, Engelhardt JA, et al. Skeletal changes in rats given daily subcutaneous injections of recombinant human parathyroid hormone (1-34) for 2 years and relevance to human safety. Toxicol Pathol 2002;30:312-21.