New drug helps prevent osteoporosis, but the downside could be cancer

No doubt, Amgen (AMGN) and its investors would have liked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's health panel proceedings to have gone differently. The good news coming out of the panel, held on Thursday, was that Amgen's highly anticipated bone drug, denosumab, benefits patients with osteoporosis. In fact, the experts unanimously voted that the injectable drug helped to prevent bone fractures in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis and should be used by women who have a history of fractures or are at high risk for fracture. Denosumab reduced the risk of spine fractures by 68 percent and hip fractures by 40 percent over three years compared to women not taking the drug.