Merck & Co., manufacturer of the widely criticized osteoporotic drug Fosamax, paid $20.4 million to more than 2,000 U.S. doctors and health care providers to partake in speaking engagements on the drug manufacturer’s behalf during 2010. Merck recently posted this information on its website. Additionally, the company’s website also stated that during the latter half of 2009, Merck paid $9.4 million to almost 1,700 doctors and health care professionals to engage in similar speaking engagements. Although a spokesman for Merck stated that the drug manufacturer provided this information in an effort to increase transparency, beginning in 2013, newly passed government legislation takes effect, which will require drug manufacturers to report this type of information.

Merck and Fosamax Lawsuits

In addition to leaving many questioning Merck’s propriety in paying doctors to participate in speaking engagements, the drug manufacturer is also in the midst of defending numerous Fosamax lawsuits filed by plaintiffs alleging that their Fosamax use caused them to sustain atypical femur fractures or osteonecrosis of the jaw. Merck could potentially pay millions of dollars in damages as a result of the mounting Fosamax lawsuits pending nationwide. However, Merck is not the only drug manufacturer under fire. Last week, Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of the defective DePuy ASR hip implants, paid $70 million to settle bribery and kickback charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. Although the controversy surrounding Merck’s practice of paying doctors was not illegal, it appears that it is becoming common practice amongst the major drug manufacturers to financially influence doctors and health care providers to prescribe drugs that are putting unknowing consumers at risk. As the harmful side effects associated with drugs like Fosamax are exposed to the public, it is often the case that these dangerous drugs were actively promoted and often part of an improper marketing scheme by the manufacturer.

Fosamax Lawsuits

If you or a loved one sustained a femur fracture as a result of Fosamax use, you may be able to file a Fosamax femur fracture lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact one of our Fosamax lawyers today for a free and confidential evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, our Fosamax injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published November 17, 2011 by