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Irish Osteoporosis Society

Contact Details

Office address Irish Osteoporosis Society
33 Pearse Street
Dublin 2
Phone +353 1 677 4267
Fax +353 1 635 1698

Last updated on 06/28/2004

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Society News

Public awareness campaigns in Ireland

The Irish Osteoporosis Society (IOS) has
announced details on its latest campaign, The
Usual Suspects, which represents the first in a
series of four quarterly public awareness
campaigns. The Usual Suspects campaign
recreates the famous police line-up from the
original movie, in which suspects are lined
up in an identification parade. Prof . Moira O’Brien, Chair of the IOS, explains the rationale behind the
campaign message: “In our identity parade,
which we have recreated for the purposes of
TV and other cross media, we have the least
likely group of suspects that the public
would associate with having osteoporosis.
Among those represented are a beautiful
young girl who developed osteopaenia, an
athlete who overtrained, a businessman who didn’t watch his diet, and a wheelchair- bound member of the Gardaí whose bones have responded positively to osteoporosis treatment.”
This 12-month public campaign will raise many significant issues and bring several key messages to the fore, as Galway GP Dr Bairbre O’Byrne
points out: “It’s time to finally dispel the
myth that osteoporosis is a condition which
only affects frail and elderly women over 65.


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Cork Workshop supports call for Europe to prioritize the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis
-Irish Osteoporosis Society opens support group in Cork

Pictured at the Osteoporosis Workshop in Cork in April, from left: Andrew Whitty, President, Pharmaceuticals Europe, GlaxoSmithKline; Prof Moira O'Brien, President, IOS; Micheal Martin, TD, Minister of Health and Children; Mary Anderson, Board Member, IOF; John O'Toole, Health Counsellor, Irish Permanent Representation to the EU.

Speaking at a workshop held in Cork on April 5, 2004, Mr Micheál Martin TD, Irish Minister for Health said “The Irish government is committed to working to try and find healthcare solutions for diseases such as osteoporosis and will work together with the European Parliament and other Member States, to encourage future European Health Presidencies to bring forward this work”.

The workshop, “Delivering patient expectations and managing European health priorities:the case of osteoporosis”, brought together patients, medical experts, policy-makers and pharmaceutical industry representatives from Europe to discuss how governments should co-ordinate the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

The workshop explored issues such as:
* Achieving a better understanding of the needs of European Osteoporosis patients
* Understanding how medicine and innovation can meet the needs of patients using the case of osteoporosis
* Determining the conditions which would ensure that patients take on more responsibility for their healthcare choices
* Determining the ways governments define health priorities which will meet the needs of patients, in a society with a growing ageing population
* Addressing these issues in the context of the crisis in Social Security and consequent pressures on health spending

The event was hosted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and IOF-member the Irish Osteoporosis Society (IOS), and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

“Osteoporosis is one of the most serious, debilitating and costly diseases in Europe yet it is also one of the least recognised," said Mary Anderson, IOF board member. "Today one person in the EU suffers an osteoporosis fracture every 30 seconds. Action is needed now to make osteoporosis and related fractures a European healthcare priority. "

Recognizing the need to provide support for people with osteoporosis in the Cork region, the IOS announced the launch of a patient support group for the area. The first meeting of the group will be held in early May with over eighty people committed to participate. “We’re delighted to be able to increase the awareness of osteoporosis and to give advice on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis to help patients and their families within the Cork area”, said Professor Moira O’Brien, IOS President.

From left: Brian Gavin, Commercial Director, GSK Ireland; Mary Anderson, Board Member, IOF; Mel Read MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Osteoporosis Interest Group; Prof Moira O'Brien, President Irish Osteoporosis Society

Member of European Parliament Mel Read (UK) and Chair of the European Parliament Osteoporosis Interest Group was presented with the first IOF President’s Award in recognition of her ongoing support to improve political awareness and policies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related fractures. Mrs Read will retire from the European Parliament this June after 15 years of service. Speaking at the workshop, Mrs Read noted “Far too many Europeans at high risk of osteoporosis will suffer needlessly because they did not have timely diagnosis or preventive therapies."

Andrew Witty, GSK’s European President ended the workshop, stating that “GSK is delighted to have the opportunity today to meet stakeholders to discuss common concerns. Osteoporosis is a good example of how patients, Governments and the research based pharmaceutical industry can deliver effective and holistic healthcare policies. We will continue to work in partnership with payers and patients to ensure that all patients get early access to innovative medicines.”


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Irish Osteoporosis Society Conference

The Irish Osteoporosis Society organised a conference entitled “An Integrated Approach to the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporotic Fractures” on February 10th and 11th 2004. The conference, held in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham in Dublin, was the inspired idea of Prof. David Marsh, Professor of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Queens University Belfast. The conference was made possible by the cooperation and support of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, National Osteoporosis Society, Irish Orthopaedic Association, British Orthopaedic Association and the Irish Osteoporosis Society. The major sponsor was Aventis and P&G Pharmaceuticals.

The conference brought together speakers from the fields of bioengineering, general practice, geriatrics, nursing, orthopaedics and rheumatology from Australia, Israel, Italy, the UK and Ireland. In her welcome to the delegates, Prof. Moira O’Brien, President of the Irish Osteoporosis Society, emphasised the importance of an integrated approach in the fight against osteoporosis, stating that “Osteoporosis is a silent disease. The first sign of osteoporosis is usually a minimal trauma fracture, which is seen by an orthopaedic surgeon. Early identification and treatment of osteoporosis is imperative to preventing further fractures occurring.”

Minister Ivor Callely, Minister of State with responsibility of older people at the Department of Health & Children, opened the conference, stating that the “inter-disciplinary team-based approach to primary care provision…has application to the prevention and treatment of osteoporotic fractures. In this way Ireland will, I hope, be in a position to ensure that known ways of reducing the risk of this disease are widely promoted.”

Greeting Mrs. Parker Bowles on her arrival at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham were (from left) John McLaughlin, Managing Director, Aventis, Mary Anderson, Board Member, IOF, Síle De Valera, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education & Science, and Prof. Moira O'Brien, President, IOS.

The conference ended with a charity lunch in aid of the Irish Osteoporosis Society. The IOS was delighted that Mrs. Camilla Parker Bowles, President of the National Osteoporosis Society, attended the lunch and launched a new osteoporosis video and workbook for secondary schools in Ireland. The video and workbook project was a collaborative initiative between the Health Promotion Units of the Northern Area, South Western Area and East Coast Area Health Boards, the Department of Education & Science and the Irish Osteoporosis Society. It was funded by the Women’s Health Unit of the Northern Area Health Board. The lunch was also attended by Minister of State Síle De Valera of the Department of Education & Science, Mary Anderson, board member of the IOF, Geraldine Byrne, Patron of the IOS, and the Presidents of the Irish, British and Scottish Orthopaedic Associations.


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