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Fosamax Lawsuit Heard in Court

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Whitehouse Station, NJA Fosamax Lawsuit is currently being heard in the courts, according to a news release from Merck (maker of Fosamax; 2/27/12). The Fosamax side effects lawsuit alleges that the medication caused a patient to develop serious jaw problems. According to Merck, the patient has alleged she suffered from Fosamax jaw problems that developed following tooth extractions.

Merck said in its news release that it would vigorously defend itself in the trial, noting that it believes the evidence shows "Fosamax did not cause the plaintiff to develop dental and jaw-related problems and that the company provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX [caps in original] to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities."

The lawsuit (titled Sessner v. Merck) alleges that the plaintiff suffered various jaw problems and complications after undergoing tooth extractions while taking Fosamax. Merck contends, however, that the patient had existing medical problems, which resulted in the jaw problems separate from her use of Fosamax. Merck also notes that the lawsuit Flores v. Merck was set to be tried at the same time as Sessner v. Merck, but the Flores trial was rescheduled.

Meanwhile, the Boles v. Merck damages trial has been moved to September 2012. The plaintiff won that lawsuit, although the amount awarded was reduced by the judge. The September 2012 trial will be to determine the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff; however, Merck has stated it will appeal the award. Other Fosamax lawsuits to go to trial have so far resulted in victories for Merck.

Fosamax is used to treat and prevent osteoporosis in women. Some patients allege, however, that the drug has actually caused serious health problems, including osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and atypical femur fractures. Merck states that as of September 20, 2011, approximately 2,000 cases were pending in either federal or state court. Multiple lawsuits are expected to be heard by the courts in 2012 regarding Fosamax side effects.

In October 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that a rare type of thigh bone fracture (known as a femoral fracture) was linked to use of bisphosphonate medications, the class of drug that Fosamax belongs to. In making its announcement, the FDA noted, "the rare type of femoral fracture has been predominantly reported in patients taking these [bisphosphonate] medications."


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Posted by

I took Actonel for three years and stopped in 2011. In 2012 i had front lower teeth extracted and since then pieces of bone have been coming to the surface, I now have a hole in my front jaw. No one knows what to do. I have never smoked or been on steroids, Other than my jaw disintegrating I am a very healthy person.
These drugs should not be on the market or only used under extreme circumstances.

Posted by

I still note the supposition on your site that it is the bisphosphonates that have CAUSED ONJ.
Yet the majority of litigants have been smokers with a smaller proportion being heavy users of steroids.

Disturbingly for people trying to give up smoking the bone effects of smoking seem to be largely due to the nicotine inhaled, so even patch treatment may not deal with the various bone conditions.

Bisphosphonates, if they have any effect on Jaw Necrosis, by slowing the loss of bone, may trap the damage caused by the smoking (or more rarely the steroids). The damage is due to the earlier treatment, or rather mistreatment. The bisphosphonate role if any is to accelerate that damage by not allowing the bone to merely disintegrate.

The litigation would seem to me to be misdirected. I have no doubt that the producers of cigarettes did not intend their use to cause such damage. Yet their product is really to blame, and should take a higher place in the queue for litigation over the manufacturers of drugs that in most people ameliorate the problems. Of course the real blame lies with those who have taken up cigarette smoking despite over 50 years of warnings!


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