Fosamax ONJ Trial Begins in New York Federal Court
On June 9, 2010 as the Fosamax retrial of Shirley Boles v. Merck geared up for the first full day of witness testimony, the plaintiff’s chief witness, Dr. Robert Marx, took the stand. Dr. Marx is a Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who has treated upwards of 250 patients with dead jaw or ONJ.
Dr. Marx discussed animal studies showing a link between Fosamax and ONJ and testified that he believes Fosamax causes ONJ. He specifically rejected defendants’ theory that plaintiff’s ONJ was caused by her prior health issues instead of her Fosamax use. Dr. Marx further explained how Fosamax’s long half-life exposes patients to the drug’s toxic effects well after they stop using it. The half-life of Fosamax is 11.2 years, which means that it takes 11.2 years for half the drug to leave the body. Therefore, even after being off Fosamax for 3 years, 75% of its toxic effect remains in the body.
Tomorrow, Ms. Boles’ oral surgeon, Dr. Charles Elwell, will take the stand.