Shirley took the osteoporosis medication for at least six years before a new doctor told her that she shouldn’t take it for more than five years. (While the jury is still out on whether Fosamax causes more damage the longer you take it, some evidence suggests that it is no longer effective after five years. For more information, read this Harvard Health Publications report.)
“I started having problems with my jaw locking and popping - sometimes just opening my mouth to speak would cause it to lock,” Shirley explains. “It feels like I have something stuck in the back of my throat; it can happen anywhere and sometimes lasts for 15 minutes or more. It’s hard to explain the sensation but my jawbone grinds against my ear, where it meets my cheekbone. Nothing I can think of could have caused this to happen; I have never had an injury and no one could give me an explanation.”
Shirley got an explanation when she saw a new doctor - she didn’t want to go back to the physician who prescribed Fosamax. He wanted her to try another medication but the state insurance wouldn’t cover it. Instead they told Shirley’s doctor that she had to go back on Fosamax for another year to see if her osteoporosis would get any better. This order came after she had already been on the med for six years.
“So I took Fosamax for almost seven years, with a short break in between,” Shirley adds. “I had to take it because they tested me. I didn’t know about the dangers of Fosamax side effects for the first six years. As you can imagine, I didn’t want to take it anymore, once I knew. I told my doctor that I had taken it for too long and I shouldn’t have to go another round, but the state trumps the doctors. Excuse this phrase, but here in Oklahoma, the state tells doctors where and when to piss in the pot. And this really pisses me off.
“I believe the state is making me take Fosamax again because they just didn’t want to pay for the other medication. When I took the Fosamax the first time after I broke my kneecap, they had to pay for a total knee replacement because it didn’t heal right. Then the following year I broke my bone between my knee and ankle on the same leg but my medical insurance covered broken bones. How narrow-minded of the state - it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to pay for an osteoporosis medication instead of paying for broken bones. I guess they don’t have a clue about preventive medicine and patients’ health comes after the dollar.
READ MORE FOSAMAX LEGAL NEWS
But filing a Fosamax claim is not out of the question. As of August 2013, more than 5,000 Fosamax lawsuits had been filed against Merck, the manufacturer. The product liability lawsuits filed in either federal or state court include about 5,440 plaintiff groups, and one case that seeks class-action certification, as well as damages and/or medical monitoring. In at least one thousand of these actions, the plaintiffs claim that they have osteonecrosis of the jaw (“ONJ”), generally subsequent to invasive dental procedures, such as tooth extraction or dental implants and/or delayed healing. In approximately 4,000 of these actions, plaintiffs have reported sustained femur fractures and/or other bone injuries associated with Fosamax.