Fosamax, a bisphosphonate osteoporosis medication, has been the subject of a number of lawsuits against its manufacturer, Merck & Co. Patients that have experienced problems have cited osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), also known as “dead jaw,” and femur fractures as two side effects that have resulted from taking the medication.
Currently, ONJ is the only side effect that has been the subject of legal action. While a few hundred individual lawsuits have been filed, as well as two Fosamax class action lawsuits, these numbers are expected to grow as more and more ONJ cases are linked to using the drug.
Femoral Fracture and FDA Warnings
The FDA updated their Fosamax warning in October of 2010 to include more information about the risk of atypical femoral fractures. The FDA has yet to establish a definitive link between thigh and hip fractures and the use of the medication, but the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research released a report with evidence to support the connection. According to their findings, of 300 osteoporosis patients who suffered an atypical femur fracture, 94% were taking, or had taken, Fosamax or a similar drug.
The new FDA warning applies to the following drugs and their generic versions:
Actonel and Actonel with Calcium
Fosamax Plus D
Class Action Lawsuits
There has been no Fosamax recall as of yet, but the more patients speak up, the more likely Fosamax lawsuits are likely to help the situation along. Patients who have suffered a femur fracture may be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit.
There have been over 900 lawsuits filed against Merck & Co. for complications with Fosamax alone. If a drug company does not properly research and test a product before releasing it on the market, it may be considered negligent and at-fault for the injuries of the consumers who used it. These companies are also responsible to clearly and properly warn prescribers and patients of the dangers associated with their product that they are aware of. Merck & Co. have a history of legal trouble, most notably with the drug Vioxx, which caused heart attacks in many of its users and was the subject of over 10,000 lawsuits.
If you have suffered a thigh fracture, hip fracture, or osteonecrosis of the jaw, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries with the help of a lawyer.