New Study Finds Osteoporosis Progresses Slowly; Questions Need For Fosamax Treatment
Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports on a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that bone loss and osteoporosis develop so slowly that women who have normal bone density at age 65 can wait 15 years before undergoing a second bone density test. As reported by the New York Times on January 18, 2012, the study raises serious doubts about whether the occurrence and progression of osteoporosis has been overstated. These new findings have led many medical experts to reevaluate the rate at which the disease progresses, and therefore reconsider treatment options, such as Fosamax, which is prescribed to prevent bone loss and fractures. Fosamax side effects are so severe that medical professionals are no longer prescribing the drug to prevent osteoporosis. If a patient does, in fact, have osteoporosis, doctors are limiting the time frame that patients can take the drug. Moreover, there is a shift away from using bone density measurements as a defining factor in deciding whether a woman should be treated for the disease. Researchers conducting this latest study evaluated 5,000 women aged 67 and older for more than a decade. The study found that only 10 percent of the women developed osteoporosis over a 15 year period. Dr. Margaret Gourlway, the lead author and a family practice specialist and osteoporosis researcher at the University of North Carolina told the New York Times that “she and her colleagues were surprised by how slowly women progressed to osteoporosis.”
Bone Density Tests Lead To Overprescribing Fosamax
According to the New York Times, Medicare pays for a bone density test every two years, leading many doctors to assume that this is the ideal interval. Moreover, there has been a surge in bone density screening since Fosamax was approved in 1995. According to the New York Times, “For years, doctors were overly enthusiastic, prescribing it for women whose bone density was lower than normal but not in a danger zone, keeping women on the drug indefinitely.” However, a wave of studies have provided mounting evidence suggesting that women face an increased risk of sustaining an atypical Fosamax femur fracture when taking the drug for a prolonged period of time.
The Fosamax lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are currently representing clients and actively filing cases In re: Fosamax Litigation (No. 282 NJ. Super. Ct.)), pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County, on behalf of individuals who allegedly sustained a femur fracture as a result of taking Fosamax.
FDA Fosamax Warning Regarding Fosamax Femur Fractures
In October 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Fosamax warning that Fosamax and other bisphosphonates put patients at risk for atypical thigh bone (femur) fractures.*** Since that time, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has provided a wealth of consumer information concerning the risks associated with Fosamax use on its website, www.consumerinjurylawyers.com. If you or a loved one took Fosamax and sustained a femur fracture, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries.
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country, for the past nine consecutive years. Only two firms in the country have been selected for the Hot List nine years in a row.
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