Fosamax is the single most prescribed drug to alleviate the effects of osteoporosis—earning its manufacturer Merck about $3 billion a year from its sales. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the approximately 37 million people who receive a prescription of Fosamax every year now have to worry about a rare type of fracture. A recent study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma indicated such a connection between the occurrence of low-impact femur fractures due to falls at standing height or less, and the class of osteoporosis medications to which Fosamax belongs.
This is a common scenario when it comes to pharmaceuticals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the governmental organization that approves such drugs before they are brought to market, does not conduct the testing itself. Rather, testing to ensure that the drug is safe is directed and funded by the very company that is set to make millions off its sales. The FDA merely places its stamp of approval on the study if it meets the organization’s mandated standards. While this is a necessary flaw because requiring the FDA to conduct the testing itself would prevent even the good pharmaceuticals from getting to the market and helping the people who really need them. Still, the system is no excuse for a negligent company to improperly bring a dangerous product to market.
Fosamax has already been connected to one major issue to which Merck was slow to respond. Back in 2004, reports began to surface where people taking Fosamax were suffering from osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a debilitating condition where the blood supply is cut off from the jawbone. If the condition persists, the bone eventually dies and must be surgically removed. Rather than quickly place a warning on the label of the product of the risk of ONJ as did the manufacturers of similar products Aredia and Zometa, the company had to be coerced by the FDA to do so.
The directors at Merck have clearly made the decision that the company will not put the interests of its consumers in the forefront. If you have suffered from a low-impact femur fracture and are not sure if you should bring a Merck lawsuit, consider that product liability laws—which cover litigation stemming from harm caused by dangerous drugs—were designed to protect people exactly like you. If you have suffered harm that would not have occurred if Merck had done its due diligence prior to bringing Fosamax to market, then you have the right to seek compensation.
It is very important that you talk to a legal professional to determine if the facts surrounding your case could amount to a Fosamax lawsuit. If you are considering a Merck lawsuit, you should contact the attorneys at the Rottenstein Law Group for a free evaluation of your claim. RLG is in the business of asserting clients’ rights against powerful corporations that do not have their consumers’ best interests in mind. For your free evaluation of your case, please fill out this brief contact form.