May 27, 2010

Fosamax (bisphosphonate) is a prescription drug manufactured by Merck that alters the way bone is formed and broken down.  It is the most common osteoporotic drug prescribed.  Initially, Fosamax was studied for approximately five years on approximately 8,000 post-menopausal women before it was available to the public.  Certain severe side effects have been reported over the years that include: osteonecrosis of the jaw (“ONJ”), femur fractures, shoulder fractures, and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (serious skin blistering and peeling).  ONJ is a painful and often disfiguring disorder caused by rapid bone loss of the jaw that is irreversible.  As a result of these Fosamax side effects many Fosamax lawsuits have been filed against Merck.

The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery first reported the link between Fosamax and ONJ and soon after the FDA (in 2008) reviewed Fosamax and acknowledged the link and issued a warning to consumers.  This initiated class action suits against Merck.  In response to this, Merck put aside $48 million in a defense fund for cases alleging a link between Fosamax and ONJ.  Fosamax lawsuits are currently being reviewed for patients who have osteonecrosis of the jaw and/or who have suffered femur fractures, hip fractures or shoulder fractures.  These lawsuits claim that Merck failed to warn healthcare providers and patients of Fosamax side effects and at the same time tried to minimize the risk associated with Fosamax.  Fosamax was Merck’s second-best selling product.  It is believed that when Merck first learned of the risks, they were protective of Fosamax since they were facing over 30,000 lawsuits from patients that were harmed by their pain medication, Vioxx.  Vioxx accounted for approximately $3 billion in lost sales when it was removed from the market in 2004.

Fosamax Lawsuits Begin

Fosamax class action suits have been filed against Merck by several groups for failing to warn patients and healthcare providers about bone decay side effects causing serious fractures and/or bone death.

In September 2009, the first Fosamax lawsuit that went to trial ended in a mistrial.  The plaintiff had taken Fosamax for 10 years and claimed to have developed osteonecrotic jaw injuries and that the drug was misrepresented in terms of its safety and failure to warn doctors and patients that it may inhibit blood flow to the jaw causing jaw death.  This was the first of three bellwether trials. This plaintiff’s attorneys indicated that they would call for a retrial.  At this time, there are an estimated 900 pending Fosamax cases with an estimated 700 lawsuits consolidated before Federal courts.

If you have experienced osteonecrosis of the jaw, or a fracture of the hip, femur or shoulder or any other related illness while on Fosamax, you may want to contact a Fosamax lawyer to determine if you are entitled to financial compensation by filing a Fosamax lawsuit.  Fosamax Lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research.  Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about Fosamax lawsuit or Fosamax lawyer please visit

Published November 17, 2011 by