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Women are calling for more involvement in deciding on long term treatments according to results of a new nationwide survey – What Women Want - conducted by The Alliance for Better Bone Health§ in conjunction with The Medicines Partnership.1 The results of the survey, conducted among 1,632 adult women, revealed that 84% of women surveyed want to be involved in decisions about their medication. ‘Effectiveness of the medicine’ was named by the highest proportion of respondents to be their number one concern, followed by side effects. Other factors, such as dosing frequency, were significantly less important.1*

The survey was conducted in response to stark insights given by a new study entitled ‘Patients Prefer Proven Efficacy Over Dosing Regimen in Osteoporosis Therapy with Bisphosphonates’. This study revealed that an overwhelming majority of postmenopausal women think that effectiveness of treatments matters more than how often they take it.2 74% said they would choose a treatment that reduces the risk of hip and spinal fractures taken once a week over a treatment that had only been shown to reduce risk of spinal fractures, taken monthly.2

The study findings were reinforced in the results of the ‘What Women Want’ survey which showed that 35% of women consider effectiveness to be the most important consideration in a long-term treatment, whereas only 2.5% of the 1,632 women questioned felt that the dosing regimen was important.1

74% would prefer a weekly treatment that reduces the risk of hip and spinal fractures, over a monthly treatment only shown to reduce the risk of spinal fracture.

35% of women would prefer effectiveness of their treatment in preference to dosing regimen.

The new survey also revealed that of all the types of fracture that osteoporosis can cause, women questioned were most fearful of hip fractures (45%) - which are the most devastating -and second most fearful of vertebral fractures (37%). Additionally, one in four women questioned worry about falling over and breaking/fracturing a bone. 43% of the respondents want their doctor to explain the differences between a range of treatments so that they can decide which they would prefer to take.1

The survey also explored women’s fears about their health as they get older. The greatest fear among women getting older was cancer, accounting for 56% of those questioned. Only 4% of respondents feared developing osteoporosis or fracturing a hip,1 despite the fact that the lifetime risk for women dying from hip fracture complications equals the risk of dying from breast cancer.3

What the experts say:
Dr Richard Keen, consultant rheumatologist from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, who was involved in the study, commented, “If women are to be involved in their treatment choices, they must ask for the right information. They still need to ask about potential side-effects and when or how often they would have to take a treatment, but should also ask about the effectiveness of the treatment because not all treatments within a class of drug are the same.”

Dr Wendy Clyne from the Medicines Partnership, involved in developing the survey, said: “It is clear from the research, that women want to be more involved in decisions about treatment and that they want access to better information so they can make decisions in an informed way. Medicines Partnership is actively engaged in improving medicines information for patients and working with health professionals to give them the skills and tools to enable patients to be more active partners in their own care.”

Dawn Harper, GP and women’s health specialist, added, “Women should understand why they are taking an osteoporosis medication and what effects it will have. This understanding can help women stick with therapies that could prevent the painful and debilitating fractures caused by osteoporosis. I certainly encourage all my patients to take an interest and to ask questions.”


Notes to editors:
• The survey: What Women Want, January 2006. Market research survey conducted by Tickbox.net1
• The study: Keen R et al. Patients Prefer Proven Efficacy Over dosing Regimen in Osteoporosis Therapy with Bisphosphonates, 2005. Abstract accepted for presentation at ECCEO, March 20062
• Osteoporosis is defined as a progressive, skeletal disorder characterised by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture
• “Despite being recognised as a considerable public health problem, it is estimated that only a small proportion of patients receive preventive advice and treatment for their condition. Instead over £1.7 billion is spent mending osteoporotic fractures across the UK each year.” The All Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group4
• Medicines Partnership is a programme supported by the DoH aimed at helping patients achieve maximum benefit from their medicines by involving them in prescribing decisions and supporting them in medicine taking. Medicines Partnership is led by a collaborative Task Force involving nurses, doctors, pharmacists, patients, academics, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS. It is supported by the Centre for Medicines Partnership, a project team based at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in London, under the leadership of Director, Joanne Shaw. For further information visit:
• Recent epidemiological data based on a UK sample indicate that close to 1.2 million women in the UK have osteoporosis5
• Of the estimated 180,000 osteoporotic fractures in England and Wales each year, 70,000 are hip fractures5
• 80% of women at high risk of a hip fracture would rather die than suffer a bad hip fracture and lose their independence6
• 20% of women who suffer a hip fracture die within the next 12 months7

For more information please contact:
David Keown
The Alliance for Better Bone Health
Tel: 01483 554 447

Jo Dixon
Red Door Communications
Tel: 020 8392 8098

Rose Lockett
Red Door Communications
Tel: 020 8392 8091

About The Alliance for Better Bone Health
The Alliance for Better Bone Health was formed by Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals and Aventis part of the sanofi-aventis Group, in May 1997 to promote bone health and disease awareness through numerous activities to support physicians and patients around the globe.

About Procter & Gamble
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Actonel®, Asacol®, Vicks®, Pepto-bismol®, Metamucil®, Thermacare®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Ariel®, Fairy®, Ace®, Lenor®, M. Propre®, Always®, Pantene®, Herbal Essences®, Head & Shoulders®, Olay®, Wella®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Iams®, Duracell®, Gillette® and Braun®. The P&G community consists of almost 140,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands. For more information about P&G Pharmaceuticals, please visit

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis is the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. The sanofi-aventis Group is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future operations, products and services, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expect”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although sanofi-aventis’ management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and develo
pments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in sanofi-aventis’ annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2004. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

The sanofi-aventis Group conducts business in the U.S. through its affiliates Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc. and Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

1. What Women Want, January 2006. Market research survey conducted by
2. Keen R et al. Patients Prefer Proven Efficacy Over dosing Regimen in Osteoporosis Therapy with Bisphosphonates, 2005. Abstract accepted for presentation at ECCEO, March 2006
3. International Osteoporosis Foundation Committee of Scientific Advisors; Osteoporosis in the Workplace, prepared by WHO Collaborating Centre, WHO Conference 2002
4. All Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group (APPOG), December 2004. Falling short: Delivering Integrated Falls and Osteoporosis Services in England, A report on the Implementation of Standard Six of the National Service Framework for Older People. Copy of the full report available from
5. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE): Technology Appraisal Guidance 87 for the secondary prevention of osteoporotic fragility fractures in post-menopausal women, 2005. Copy of the full report available from
6. Salkeld G et al. BMJ 2000;320:341-346
7. Christodoulou C, Cooper C. Postgrad Med J 2003;79:133-138

§Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals and sanofi-aventis
*See market research backgrounder for further details
Date of preparation: January 2006

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Health Unlimited (Red Door Communications) in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit