Earlier this month, both Reuters and Forbes reported on their respective Web sites that Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, has seen its new osteoporosis drug, odanacatib, do so well that independent monitors have advised that studies of the drug, which began in 2007, should be stopped early. Reports suggest that studies will take “a number of months to wind down” but will continue in order to address a number of safety issues that were flagged by the Data Monitoring Committee.
Odanacatib Differs From Bisphosphonates Like Fosamax
According to the articles, odanacatib differs from bisphosphonates in that it is designed to block the enzyme, cathepsin K, the main component of osteoclasts, which are responsible for weakening healthy bones. The drug would be taken weekly, which is considered more convenient than daily dosages of Fosamax.
More importantly, the data from the study involving over 16,000 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis will not be released until some time next year. The study was expected to continue until hip fractures had been reported in 237 patients. Merck said the interim analysis was conducted when around 70 percent of the targeted number of hip fractures had been reported.
Based on the early termination of the study, Merck said it expects to submit regulatory applications for U.S., European and Japanese approval of odanacatib in the first half of next year.
Patients at Risk for Osteoporosis Should Consult Their Physicians
While the news about Merck’s alternative to Fosamax 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. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group can help. Our 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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