Fosamax Retrial: Final Day of Testimony
The retrial of Shirley Boles v. Merck entered its 11th and final day of witness testimony on Wednesday. Defense witness Dr. John Bilezikian, an endocrinologist from Columbia University, testified about the serious consequences of osteoporosis if left untreated. He also spoke about the risk factors used by physicians in deciding how to treat osteoporosis and in determining if Fosamax is appropriate.
On cross-examination, the plaintiff’s counsel alluded to the close and friendly relationship between Merck and Dr. Bilezikian. In addition, he questioned the doctor on the lack of any long-term benefit from Fosamax, and the weaknesses in the clinical trials the defense relies on. Finally, the plaintiff’s counsel introduced correspondence between Merck and the National Osteoporosis Foundation to illustrate the close partnership between the two, and the monetary support Merck provides the Foundation. The Foundation has issued a number of studies and reports on the benefits of Fosamax. The defense countered that this type of relationship is normal in the pharmaceutical industry.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the conclusion of Dr. Glickman’s testimony from the previous day took place after Dr. Bilezikian’s testimony. The plaintiff’s counsel underlined the fact that Dr. Glickman has never physically examined Ms. Boles, yet has made his own diagnosis, which is contrary to her treating physician’s diagnosis.
At 4:00 in the afternoon, the plaintiff and the defendant announced that they had each rested their case.
Thursday will kick-off with a closed conference between the parties and Judge Keenan, followed by closing arguments set to begin at 2:00 p.m.