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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ETXEBERRIA, Arritxu et al. Deprescribing long-term treatments with bisphosphonates for osteoporosis in primary care in the Basque Country (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2017, vol.31, n.1, pp.35-39. ISSN 0213-9111.


To evaluate the impact of a multifactorial intervention to promote bisphosphonate deprescription after over 5 years of use (BF5y) in a health care organisation (HCO) in Gipuzkoa (Spain) and to compare it with the standard intervention in other HCOs in the Basque Health Service-Osakidetza.


An 8-month follow-up study (results from before and after) to assess the impact of two interventions. All patients from Osakidetza receiving BF5y treatment (electronic prescription) in July 2013 were included. The standard intervention (9 HCOs) consisted of mailing a consensus statement on BF5y deprescribing and facilitating patient identifiers with BF5y prescription for review by the primary care physician. The multifactorial intervention (Gipuzkoa) also included a local consensus with leading specialists and training sessions in health centres.


18,725 patients were included; 94.7% were women. Standard intervention deprescribing rates ranged from 26.4% (Bilbao) to 49.4% (Araba), being 37.2% overall. The multifactorial intervention deprescribing rate was 44.6%, 7.4% (p <0.0001; 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 5.4-9.4) higher than standard intervention. Changes to other treatments were less common with the multifactorial intervention, with a difference of 3.7% (p <0.0001; 95%CI: −2.2 to −5.2).


Standard and multifactorial interventions are very effective in reducing unnecessary treatments with bisphosphonates. The multifactorial intervention is more effective than the standard one, although more complex to implement.

Keywords : Drug-related adverse reactions; Bisphosphonates; Osteoporosis; Deprescription; Inappropriate prescription; Implementation.

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