Fosamax Lawsuits Alleging ONJ, Femur Fractures Continue to Move Forward
Just over 2,000 Fosamax lawsuits are currently pending in courtrooms around the country. The Fosamax lawsuits have been filed by people who allege the drug caused them to suffer a bone-decaying jaw disorder, as well as atypical femur fractures.
Fosamax is an oral bisphosphonate that is used to prevent fractures in people with osteoporosis and other bone-weakening diseases. It was brought to market by Merck in 1995, and soon became one of the most popular drugs on the market, taken by millions of post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. The drug was also widely used by doctors to prevent fractures in women with osteopenia, a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal, but not yet osteoporotic. Many of these women took Fosamax or similar drugs for years, never realizing that these medications could eventually weaken bones over the long-term. Just this past May, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that there was little benefit in taking Fosamax and similar drugs for longer than five years, citing the risk of serious side effects.
In 2005, Merck added a warning about Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) to the Fosamax label. Also known as ‘’dead jaw syndrome,” ONJ is rare, but disabling condition, in which the jaw bone decays and dies. The condition generally develops when the jaw fails to heal after minor trauma, such as a tooth extraction, which results in bone exposure. In 2008, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began looking into reports that patients taking bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, had a higher risk of suffering a type of thigh fracture called an atypical femur fracture. In 2010, additional warnings were added to the Fosamax label regarding atypical femur fractures.
Understandably, most Fosamax users are shocked to hear that the drug they were taking to strengthen their bones could actually cause a fracture. It’s even more shocking when they suffer a break. In many cases, victims of Fosamax femur fractures report they were doing normal things, like walking gingerly down a flight of stairs, when they suffered their break.
According to court records, some 2,200 Fosamax lawsuits have been filed by people who suffered ONJ, femur fractures and other injuries allegedly linked to long-term use of Fosamax. Hundreds of Fosamax lawsuits are now pending before Judge Carol E. Higbee in New Jersey Superior Court, Atlantic County Division. Judge Higbee has scheduled that litigation’s next case management conference for November 9th.