Broken bones, broken trust: Fosamax victims sue drugmakers

12-20-2011
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More than 1,500 users of the medication Fosamax are suing the drug’s manufacturer, Merck, claiming that the drug, which is prescribed to treat bone weakening in post-menopausal women, in fact causes bone-density loss if taken for an extended period.

Mounting evidence links long-term use of Fosamax to atraumatic femur fractures—breakages of the thighbone that occur without exposure to trauma (e.g., femur fractures that happen while a person is just walking). Fosamax has also been connected to osteonecrosis, a.k.a. jaw death, a condition in which the tissue of the jawbone deteriorates, causing the gums to fall away and expose bone that appears moth-eaten.

Concern over Fosamax has been growing ever since the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1995. In 2004, the agency ordered Merck to add a warning to Fosamax’s label about the risk of osteonecrosis, and last year, it told the company and makers of other “bisphosphenates,” including Actonel, Boniva and Atelvia, to warn of atraumatic femur fractures as well. An FDA staff report concluded in September that a link between bisphosphenates and conditions like atraumatic femur fractures cannot be ruled out; agency advisory panels recommended the same month that the warning language on the drugs’ labels be made stronger.

All the while, the number of lawsuits against Merck and other bisphosphenate manufacturers has been climbing. People harmed by these drugs are fighting back. In one case, a jury awarded a Fosamax victim $8 million.

If you developed an atraumatic femur fracture (or other unusual bone breakage), osteonecrosis or esophageal cancer after using Fosamax or another bisphosphenate like Actonel, Boniva or Atelvia, contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.

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