Drug manufacturer, Merck, has experienced thousands of lawsuits due to Fosamax, also known as Alendronate Sodium, a biophosphonate drug created to treat bone loss caused by Osteoporosis. Biophosphonates are the most common type of drug used to treat Osteoporosis, and can be found in Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast, and generic versions of those drugs. Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect on users, depleting them of crucial antioxidants, and causing serious bone complications such as fractures (especially in the thigh and femur areas), and Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), also known as “Jaw Death,” a condition in which the jaw tissue decomposes, leading to infections, gum lesions, and loose teeth. Other side effects include joint and muscle pain, irregular heartbeat, inflammation and ulcers of the esophagus, and in some cases, esophageal cancer.
The drug was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the mid-1990s, and has been on the market ever since. It was most commonly used by postmenopausal women to treat Osteoporosis, and other bone conditions, as well as Paget’s Disease. More than one thousand lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts across the nation, alleging that Merck failed to warn users about the drug’s side effects. Results have been mixed so far, with Merck pleading that the victim’s ailments were not caused by Fosamax, but other health problems, and that there are no distinguishable connections to the consumer’s injuries. A request to certify the claims as class action was filed in 2008, but was denied, leaving each individual case on their own. The drug did, however, lose its patent, causing a decline in sales, but still remains on the market.
In 2013, Merck agreed to pay a $27.7 million dollar settlement out to consumers suffering from ONJ due to Fosamax, however, there is no news to date about settlements for other ailments the drug has caused. The FDA has issued several warnings, saying that Merck has overstated “the benefits of Fosamax while minimizing the risks associated with the drug.” Since the 1990s, about 40 million people have been exposed to Fosamax, and there is no telling how many more people will develop symptoms.
If you or a loved one are suffering from fractures, ONJ, or other conditions related to use of biophosphonates, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.