Defective drug lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm recently learned of a new report confirming a link between Fosamax and serious thigh bone femur fractures. Patients who suffer harmful Fosamax side effects have legal rights and may be eligible for compensation. Fosamax manufacturer Merck & Company already faces over a thousand lawsuits filed by Fosamax victims suffering femur and other bone injuries.
The latest studies suggest that long term users of Fosamax and other bisphosphonate drugs like Reclast, Boniva, and Actonel are most at risk for experiencing serious side effects. Doctors typically prescribe Fosamax to treat and prevent osteoporosis, but the drug essentially stops the cells that build up the bone and leads to denser bone material. Fosamax users have reportedly developed thigh bone fractures while doing normal, everyday activities such as standing or walking.
The serious bone condition Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, or “dead jaw,” has also been reported by Fosamax users around the country. This disfiguring condition causes the jawbone to die, leaving the gums vulnerable to painful infections. Victims typically experience loose teeth, exposed bones, and loss of mobility in their jaws. In some cases, portions of the necrotic bone have to be removed in order to correct these dangerous Fosamax side effects. A Harvard University School of Dental Medicine study published in the New York Times estimates that up to 10 percent of all cancer patients are likely to develop Osteonecrosis of the Jaw while using Fosamax and bisphosphonates.
When taken with other medications, Fosamax is even more dangerous. Clinical studies show that it may interact with other medications that can increase the risk of harm. Esophagus damage has been reported, along with indigestion, heartburn, and ulcers. Fosamax is also unsafe for pregnant women and may be passed to newborn infants through breast milk.
Fosamax manufacturers knew as early as 2000 that the drug caused jaw and thighbone problems, but failed to warn innocent consumers who suffered serious permanent injuries. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stepped in, forcing Merck to update the Fosamax warning label to warn users of the risk. But Fosamax class action lawsuits filed by victims who claim that they were not informed of harmful Fosamax side effects are still pending, and even more Fosamax litigation is expected.
Juries assessing Fosamax injury claims have generally been favorable towards injured Fosamax users. Although a New Jersey state court jury sided with Merck in November of 2010, a federal trial resulted in an $8 million jury verdict for a 10-year Fosamax user who developed Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. U.S. District Court Judge John Keenan recently upheld the verdict, reducing the jury award to $1.5 million. Judge Keenan will preside over another federal Fosamax trial, Secrest v. Merck, scheduled to begin in September of 2011. According to court documents obtained by our defective drug attorneys, plaintiff Linda Secrest used Fosamax more than three years before developing Osteonecrosis of the Jaw. Her doctor alleges that he prescribed Fosamax to Secrest, along with a hundred other patients, because he was not adequately informed of the serious bone fracture risk.
Our Fosamax attorneys know that the Merck had a legal duty to warn Fosamax users of known side effects, and failing to do so exposes the pharmaceutical manufacturer to potential liability. Thousands of Fosamax users needlessly experienced serious adverse reactions, including femur bone fractures and jaw injuries that required additional, invasive dental procedures to correct and may be entitled to damages.