Patients with chronic conditions like osteoporosis are always looking for alternatives to their medications, but what happens when medications are the only course of treatment that can effectively address the condition?
Many postmenopausal women susceptible to osteoporosis take Fosamax to strengthen their bones and prevent further bone loss. Unfortunately, the drug, manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., is thought to cause atypical femur fractures and jawbone death in patients who take it for extended periods of time. Those for whom a drug like Fosamax might be the only solution to keeping bone loss at bay should protect themselves from the severe side effects the drug might cause. Some patients have sued Merck for injuries they’ve sustained while taking Fosamax.
A recent article appearing on Forbes suggests that new microchip technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) might help patients suffering from osteoporosis get the correct dose of medication without having to endure injections or swallow pills.
Microchip Drug Delivery System Passes First Human Test
Robert Langer and Michael Cima, two MIT researchers working with the company, MicroCHIPS, Inc., have developed a microchip implant capable of delivering prescription medications to patients. The chip, in development for about ten years, just completed its first human test, prompting the researchers to claim, “It passed with flying colors.”
The microchip implants were tested on seven women between the ages of 65 and 70, who suffer from osteoporosis. In all seven patients, the chip delivered the correct dose of medication without any adverse side effects. Some bisphosphonate medications are administered by injection, rather than in pill form like Fosamax. The idea behind the microchip implant is to effectively deliver an accurate dosing of medication while ensuring compliance on the part of patients. Many individuals cannot, or will not inject themselves with medication.
Cima commented in an MIT press release: “Compliance is very important in a lot of drug regimens, and it can be very difficult to get patients to accept a drug regimen where they have to give themselves injections. This avoids the compliance issue completely and points to a future where you have fully automated drug regimens.”
Langer commented, “This trial demonstrates how drug[s] can be delivered through an implantable device that can be monitored and controlled remotely, providing new opportunities to improve treatment for patients and to realize the potential of telemedicine. The convergence of drug delivery and electronic technologies gives physicians a real-time connection to their patient’s health, and patients are freed from the daily reminder, or burden, of disease by eliminating the need for daily injections.”
Right now, the implant is only capable of being monitored within very short distances, but the researchers are currently working on its programming functions.
Patients at Risk for Osteoporosis Should Consult Their Physicians
While the news about this technological breakthrough is encouraging, it will most likely take a while before it is available to the general public. In the meantime, those at risk of developing osteoporosis should consult their physicians about the most appropriate way to treat the condition. A qualified physician can help weigh the risks and benefits of taking a drug like Fosamax, with other options such as lifestyle changes, that could reduce the risk of bone loss.
RLG Represents Injured Fosamax Users
If you have been taking Fosamax for an extended period of time, and have suffered a femur fracture, it could be because of the medication, and you might be eligible for compensation by a femur fracture lawsuit against Merck. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group can help. Our Fosamax lawyers have over 25 years of collective experience advocating for clients in consumer product injury and mass tort cases. Please fill out our contact form or call us at 1-877-332-2347, and one of our lawyers will be in touch.
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