Health & Medical Medicine

The Side Effects of Osteoporosis Medication and Patient's Legal Rights

Fosamax is a drug manufactured by Merck and used in treatment of osteoporosis. Several studies and reports filed by patients have linked the drug to the occurrence of rare bone fractures. A number of patients have filed lawsuits against the drug manufacturer due to these side effects.

Fosamax is the most prescribed drug for treating osteoporosis and it works by altering the way the bone is formed and broken down. Prior to being made available to the public, this drug was tested on 8,000 women in the post-menopausal period of life. The most severe reported side effects include fractures of the femur and shoulder, a condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome that is characterized by peeling and blistering skin, and osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).

When there is rapid, irreversible bone loss in the jaw, ONJ can occur. This is a very painful condition that can leave an individual with permanent disfigurement. A patient suffering from ONJ or another side effect may file a Fosamax lawsuit against the company that manufactured the drug. Merck has allocated $48 million to defend against cases regarding the link between this drug and ONJ.

The history of the development of ONJ in relation to this drug can be traced back to 2008. In that year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged the link between Fosamax and ONJ during a review. The FDA subsequently issued a consumer warning and class action lawsuits began being filed against Merck. According to the filings by those experiencing ONJ and fracture-related side effects, Merck did not warn patients or healthcare providers of the drug side effects during the time it was attempting to minimize associated risks.

A September 2009 mistrial was declared in the first Fosamax lawsuit that went to trial, but attorneys stated that they would attempt a retrial. The patient in this case took the drug for ten years and developed ONJ. There are currently 900 cases pending regarding this drug, which is Merck's number two selling product. At least 700 lawsuits have been consolidated before the Federal courts regarding this issue.

An individual who has experienced side effects including ONJ or hip, shoulder, or femur fractures should consult with a Fosamax lawyer. This legal professional will assist with the filing of a Fosamax lawsuit in order to request financial compensation. A Fosamax lawyer is knowledgeable regarding the situation relevant to this drug and will provide the most knowledgeable form of representation. 

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