Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first generic versions of the osteoporosis medication Boniva (ibandronate sodium), a member of the bisphosphonate class of drugs. The move has prompted a good deal of criticism from individuals and organizations that point to bisphosphonate side effects, including bone injuries that have resulted in thousands of Fosamax lawsuits. One such organization is Consumers Union, a non-profit that says the health problems associated with drugs like Fosamax and Boniva are a cause for concern.
Generics To Be Cheaper, But Still Dangerous
On March 19 the FDA issued a press release announcing that it had approved generic versions of ibandronate. While Boniva is manufactured jointly by GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Laboratories, generic ibandronate will be made by Apotex Inc., Orchid Healthcare, and Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc in 150 milligram tablets.
The FDA’s decision to allow production of the generic bisphosphonate comes at a time when thousands of lawsuits alleging that alendronate sodium—another bisphosphonate sold under the trade name Fosamax (Merck & Co.)—are pending in state and federal courts. The lawsuits are divided into two types: those that allege Fosamax causes osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), and those that claim Fosamax leads to atypical femur fractures.
The leading consumer magazine Consumer Reports, published by the independent, non-profit organization Consumer Union (CU), notes that bisphosphonates are also linked to esophageal problems, eye inflammation, and severe muscle, bone, and joint pain. Because they offer “only modest benefits at best, and come with a risk of serious side effects,” CU recommends caution with bisphosphonates and says that patients already taking the drugs should “consider going on a ‘drug holiday’ after five years” or “switching to another type of osteoporosis medication.”
Some Boniva Patients Eligible to Participate in Fosamax Litigation
It’s not uncommon for patients with osteoporosis, or those at risk for the disease, to take more than one type of bisphosphonate drug over the course of their treatment. For this reason, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), the body of federal judges that approved the formation of a Fosamax multidistrict litigation (MDL), announced in February that patients who took Fosamax and Boniva or Fosamax and Reclast and allege that they suffered a femur fracture are eligible to join the mass tort.
Contact RLG To Discuss a Possible Fosamax Lawsuit
Whether you took Fosamax alone or Fosamax and Boniva, you might be eligible to recover compensation from the manufacturer of a bisphosphonate if you believe it caused your abnormal femur fracture. To find out if the details of your case are grounds for a lawsuit, submit them to the Rottenstein Law Group by filling out this form or calling 1-877-332-2347.
Learn More: View RLG’s Fosamax Infographic