According to reports, John D. Feerick was appointed Special Settlement Master on November 22, to oversee talks between the two sides in the Fosamax lawsuits. The goal is for Feerick to facilitate a resolution in the federal lawsuits involving Fosamax. There are reportedly more than 900 Fosamax lawsuits filed in federal court with additional cases filed in various state courts. Lawsuits filed against Merck, maker of Fosamax, allege the company failed to warn patients about the risks associated with the medication.
Fosamax is an oral bisphosphonate, taken to strengthen the patient's bones. It has been associated with an increased risk of jawbone death when taken at high doses. Some patients have required surgery to remove all or part of their jawbone after developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).
READ MORE FOSAMAX LEGAL NEWS
Those lawsuits have been consolidated, although no bellwether trials have yet gone to court.
In July 2011, the FDA announced it was reviewing information about a possible link between the use of drugs similar to Fosamax and an increased risk of esophageal cancer. In two studies about bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer, one study found approximately double the risk of esophageal cancer linked to bisphosphonate use of more than three years while another study found no such link.