Background: Italy is the Country with the highest life expectancy in the world, and over 75,000 elderly people experience a hip fracture each year.
Objective: following the Tuscany TARGET protocol, we aimed to estimate the costs of pharmacological treatment in the hypothesis of treating all elderly Italian people with hip fractures.
Methods: we analyzed the Tuscany healthcare system databases at the beginning of the Tuscany TARGET project for the prevention of hip fractures in elderly patients, and the Italian national hospitalizations records and DRGs databases concerning hip fractures occurred between 2000 and 2005.
Results: costs sustained for pharmacological treatments effective in reducing the risk of subsequent hip fractures all over Italy would account for 17.5 million Euros, representing only 0.18% of the overall national pharmaceuticals expenditures, while the national healthcare service is currently spending more than 30% of the overall pharmaceuticals expenditures in providing cardiovascular-active drugs.
Conclusions: The burden of hip fractures in the Italian elderly population is substantial and must be acknowledged as an important health problem. Specific preventive strategies, such as the Tuscany TARGET project should be implemented in all Italian regions.