Disrupting the status quo in osteoporosis management in the Asia Pacific

Blog post APCO
The Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO) and The APCO Framework


The Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO) has today (Monday, September 6, 2021)  launched The APCO expert video series. The video series captures the individual voices of four key APCO members – Dr Manju Chandran, Singapore, Dr Philippe Halbout, Switzerland, Dr Aysha Habib Khan, Pakistan and Dr Atsushi Suzuki, Japan. These members  represent the diverse make up of APCO – a unique organisation comprising osteoporosis experts from 19 countries and regions in the Asia Pacific, whose collective ideology crosses political boundaries and barriers.

Each expert reflects on the osteoporosis landscape in their respective country, outlines various efforts underway to address the burden of osteoporosis, and explains how The APCO Framework can be implemented across the region to improve the screening, diagnosis, and management of osteoporosis.

In addition, the Chairperson of APCO, Professor Manju Chandran, reflects on the establishment of  APCO and its altruistic intent. The CEO of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and APCO Executive Committee Member, Dr Philippe Halbout, discusses the unique perspective that the IOF brings to APCO.

Implementing The APCO Framework in the Asia Pacific – through the eyes of its Chairperson

Dr Manju Chandran, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist and Director, Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Unit, Singapore General Hospital and APCO Executive Committee Chairperson, SINGAPORE

In this video, APCO Executive Committee Chairperson, Dr Manju Chandran, explains the osteoporosis landscape in Singapore, while also providing a compelling overview of APCO. Dr Chandran outlines the reasons for APCO’s establishment, her personal commitment to the organisation, and what she believes makes APCO, an organisation dedicated to minimising the burden of osteoporosis and fragility fractures in the Asia Pacific region, so unique.

Dr Chandran highlights APCO’s first major initiative – the development of The APCO Framework – and urges all national osteoporosis societies, guidelines development authorities, and healthcare policy makers to utilise the APCO Framework to further improve the screening, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in their respective countries.

Dr Chandran also expounds on the osteoporosis landscape in Singapore. This small nation punches far above its weight in the management of osteoporosis. It is one of the few countries in the Asia Pacific region that recognises osteoporosis as a public healthcare priority, and boasts Asia’s oldest Fracture Liaison Services (FLS), known as OPTIMAL – a secondary fracture prevention program instituted in the public hospitals of Singapore in 2008.
In 2015, osteoporosis was included in Singapore’s Chronic Disease Management Programme, covering the cost of outpatient clinic visits through Singapore’s compulsory national health insurance, Medisave.

Implementing The APCO Framework in the Asia Pacific – an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) perspective

Philippe Halbout, International Osteoporosis Foundation CEO and APCO Executive Committee Member, SWITZERLAND

Globally, the population aged 65 years and over increased from 6 per cent in 1990, to 9 per cent in 2019. This proportion is projected to rise to 16 per cent by 2050, meaning 1 in 6 people worldwide will be aged 65 years and over by 2050. Furthermore, in 2010, an estimated 158 million people aged 50 years and above were at high risk of osteoporotic fracture – a figure which is set to double by 2040.

Dr Halbout discusses why we need global organisations, such as the IOF, and regional organisations, like APCO, to work together, to shift the current and alarming trajectory of osteoporosis and fragility fractures. He discusses his aim of bringing a global perspective to the challenges we face in the Asia Pacific region, and how he wishes to share successful initiatives from other regions of the world, as a source of inspiration for APCO’s future strategy and operations.

Implementing The APCO Framework in Pakistan

Dr Aysha Habib Khan, Professor of Chemical Pathology, Aga Khan University Medical College and APCO Executive Committee Member, PAKISTAN

In this video, Dr Aysha Habib Khan discusses how implementation of The APCO Framework in Pakistan, and the development of national guidelines on osteoporosis management inspired by it, will help physicians significantly improve osteoporosis care, and the burden of osteoporosis in Pakistan. This is because currently in Pakistan, there is a very low level of awareness of osteoporosis, and despite the major advances in osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment that have happened in recent years, low rates of investigation and treatment of patients with osteoporotic fragility fractures are reported.

Implementing The APCO Framework in Japan

Dr Atsushi Suzuki, Professor, Fujita Health University, Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and APCO Clinical and Scientific Advisory Member, JAPAN

Japan is a super-ageing society and has a population over 120 million. Population-based estimates indicate more than 15 million people are currently affected by osteoporosis in Japan.

Dr Atsushi Suzuki reveals that the Japan Osteoporosis Society (JOS), the Japan Osteoporosis Foundation (JOF) and the Japanese Society of Bone and Mineral Research (JSBMR) are currently preparing new guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in Japan. He discusses how The APCO Framework can be utilised by the organisations involved in this process, and how the Framework can further contribute to the daily management and treatment of osteoporosis in Japan.


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