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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

Troels Wolthers
Medical Advisor Endocrine
Eli Lilly Australia
West Ryde, NSW


Troels Wolthers

Medical Advisor Endocrine, Eli Lilly Australia West Ryde, NSW