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In the ongoing legal controversy over Merck’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax and the complications experienced by patients who have taken the medication, mainstream media continue to document the developing events concerning the lawsuits over this popular osteoporosis drug, industry analysts noted. In the past decade complaints of cases against the pharmaceutical manufacturer over Fosamax’ side effects have accumulated and in the last few years from 2009, court hearings have been tried and continue to come forward by plaintiffs seeking recompense over damages from receiving Fosamax prescriptions.

The FDA in early 2000 began receiving complaints of complications relating to Fosamax treatment which were supported by research findings that have studied reports from people on prescription with it. The main complaints in these cases are osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures, which have lead to numerous lawsuits and recently esophageal cancer is speculated as another possible complication that might also lead to more court cases against Merck.

In six bellwether cases involving Merck and their popular osteoporosis medication Fosamax, plaintiffs have alleged that the pharmaceutical company is responsible for causing osteonecrosis of the jaw from taking the bone strengthening drug. There are currently over 2,345 pending cases filed by an estimated 2,800 groups against Merck. Judicial authorities have been prompted by the overwhelming number of cases against Merck to combine and group a majority of cases in multi-district litigation proceedings to better and more efficiently hear cases altogether rather than individually.

Merck’s official position regarding these complaints is that there is no definitive evidence linking Fosamax as the cause of the complications listed in the lawsuits despite the FDA ordering the drug company to upgrade their warning labels for osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical bone fractures to warn consumers. In conjunction with their official stance, Merck has motioned to have as much as 24 pending cases dismissed as having no merit, which was summarily rejected by the presiding judge.

As of now, more cases continue to be brought forward with the most recent news report on a New Jersey judge’s decision that opted to try a case involving atypical femur fracture instead of another case of osteonecrosis of the jaw. According to experts more cases will possibly come forward against Merck over more complications related to taking Fosamax with no foreseeable end in the near future for either plaintiffs or the drug manufacturer.

URL References:

  • bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNS2rN6DCYOo
  • 14news.com/story/19131939/south-carolina-woman-alleges-mercks-fosamax-is-responsible-for-femur-fracture-injury-files-lawsuit-alleging-the-bone-loss-drug-caused-the-atypical
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2012_0227.html
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2011_0907.html