IOF recently had the pleasure to be invited to the ‘Ageing population & Autonomy’ Roundtable organised by representatives of the French Parliament in cooperation with ANCO (Alliance Nationale Contre l’Ostéoporose), AFLAR (Association Française de Lutte Anti-Rhumatismale), SFR (Société Française de Rhumatologie) and GRIO (Groupe de Recherche et d’Information sur les Ostéoporoses).
The objective of the Roundtable was to raise awareness on osteoporosis, in the context of the work carried out within the framework of the health legislation ‘Ma Santé 2022’, whereby osteoporosis has been identified as one of the main priority diseases. The importance of prevention and awareness were among key topics of discussion, as well the importance of implementing coordinated care pathways.
Amongst the eminent speakers, Professor Bernard Cortet, GRIO President, presented the medical challenges and impact of osteoporosis in France and the complex management of the diseases in the country. During his address, he illustrated the huge economic burden of osteoporosis in France by stating that osteoporosis is estimated to cost 5 or 6 billion euros per year, and this cost is expected to continuously increase each year as the population ages.
Professor Cortet also highlighted the lack of treatment received by patients following a fracture, as only 10% of patients suffering from a fracture are treated for osteoporosis once they have left the hospital. Finally, he highlighted the lack of institutions for the elderly to recover properly from a fracture, leading to a higher risk of death in the year following the fracture.
Concrete proposals of actions to be taken by the government in its new health legislation were made by Professor Thierry Thomas, President of the SFR. His proposal was articulated around three blocks:
Identification - Implementation of systematic opportunity to carry out a complete diagnosis of the risk of autonomy loss by:
- offering a bone densitometry examination free of charge as part of the consultation for all women over 65 years of age (based on the “ Maternal and child protection” model)
- promoting fall prevention programmes in medical retirement homes.
Information and communication - carry out a nationwide information and education campaign raising public awareness of falls prevention by:
- working on targeted campaigns alongside the guardianship authorities
- proposing to the health insurance companies to send a guidance and informative questionnaire to women over 65 years of age
Coordination - improving the coordination of care for the prevention of loss of autonomy by:
- experimenting with a broadening of the lump-sum funding of chronic pathologies introduced by the Social Security Financing Act (LFSS) in 2019, for diabetes and chronic kidney failure, within the patient pathway of the elderly
- contributing to the grouping of professionals from the same territory via the territorial health professional communities (CPTS) to enable them to collaborate on projects linked to loss of ageing and autonomy; particularly in terms of care for the elderly patients who suffer from osteoporosis and fragility fractures.
IOF CEO Philippe Halbout stated:
“IOF is very impressed by the notable achievements of the Alliance National Contre l’Ostéoporose, which has successfully engaged with policy makers and politicians to ensure that osteoporosis is a national health priority. We applaud these important initiatives and, within the framework of the Capture® the Fracture programme, we offer our continued support to facilitate the implementation of Post-Fracture Care (PFC) Coordination Programs for secondary fracture prevention in France."