This World Osteoporosis Day, an interview with IOF President Cyrus Cooper highlighted the burden of osteoporosis in Europe and the need for effective policy solutions to fight the fragility fracture crisis. The interview was published on the EURACTIV Media Network which is dedicated to providing quality content for EU-level and national policy professionals as well as journalists.

In the interview Professor Cooper outlines a three-step strategy for effective and cost-efficient osteoporosis-related fracture prevention, emphasizing that the narrative 'osteoporosis is a natural consequence of ageing’ must be challenged. 

> Read Osteoporosis prevention can start in the womb, says health expert

As well, a related EURACTIV article on October 19th ‘Broken bones, shattered lives: call for action as EU faces rise in osteoporosis’ presented a new toolkit (developed by the Health Policy Partnership in conjunction with many IOF experts) which summarizes the key actions for policymakers to tackle the fragility fracture crisis in Europe. It provides overall and country-specific resources to ensure that EU policy helps those suffering from the condition access the care and support they need.

In the EU alone, it’s estimated that 22 million women and 5.5 million men suffer from the bone condition, resulting in 3.5 million fractures a year, which costs an estimated €37 billion, or around 3% of overall healthcare costs. This number is set to increase dramatically in the coming decades due to ageing populations and lifestyle changes, with fracture-related costs projected to increase to €47.4 billion by 2030.

During a recent event marking the launch of the toolkit, Professor Cooper stated:

“We now know what works in a clinical setting for osteoporosis, we’ve identified a means of predicting fracture risk, we have a panoply of interventions that reduce fractures in those who are high risk, and that is the basis that we need to communicate as the evidence to policy makers.”