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.
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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."