Claire Gill, Interim CEO
The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), the country’s leading health organization representing 10 million Americans who suffer from osteoporosis, a chronic disease that weakens bone and increases a person’s risk for debilitating and deadly fractures, urges Members of Congress to assure that patients who are covered by Medicare Part B for their osteoporosis treatment are able to access their injections or infusions of medications at home during this unprecedented health crisis in our country. As osteoporosis overwhelming impacts people over the age of 65, reducing the exposure of our senior population to the COVID-19 virus is a high priority.
Two very potent treatments for osteoporosis, Denosumab and Romosozumab, require injections every six months and monthly, respectively. The consequences for patients who skip doses of Denosumab can be repeated, painful broken bones in their spine. Zoledronic acid, another medication that has been shown to prevent serious fractures in patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia is given by an infusion.
Patients being treated with these medications are at high risk for fractures, which can be devastating, life altering events and thus need to continue treatment without interruption. It is essential that Medicare patients not skip their schedule injections or infusions, but they need to remain safe and avoid medical centers where the risk of COVID-19 exposure might be high.
We strongly urge that medications requiring an injection or infusion by a healthcare provider under Medicare Part B for osteoporosis treatment be allowed to be provided in the home and that CMS covers both the medication and its administration at home by a healthcare professional as it currently does for administration in healthcare facilities.