Thursday, April 13, 2006

Merck - Fosamax: jaw jaw war war

Poor Merck. They are already facing a raft of cases over its pain reliever Vioxx, but may need to hire additional attorneys to fight a recently filed lawsuit alleging the company was negligent in promoting its osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Fort Myers, Fosamax is a defective product because it can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw, or a rotting of the jaw bone. The suit, which seeks class-action status, alleges Merck concealed and continues to hide Fosamax's potentially dangerous side effects from patients and doctors.

Fosamax is Merck's second best-selling drug, with $3.2 billion in sales.

In a statement, Merck said that in all of its clinical trials of Fosamax, which have included more than 17,000 patients, it has not had any reports of osteonecrosis of the jaw. Merck said that there have been reports of patients taking Fosamax developing the condition, but that doesn't necessarily mean the drug caused it.

Fosamax belongs to a category of drugs known as nitrogenous bisphosphonates, according to the lawsuit. Some other drugs in that category are used for chemotherapy, and the lawsuit says medical journals had been reporting a connection between those medicines and the jaw condition. The suit contends that since Fosamax is in the same class of drugs, Merck should have known its product could lead to such problems.

The lawsuit further claims the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked Merck to add a warning to Fosamax's label in August of 2004 and that it has yet to comply with that request.

More more on the jaw jaw war war here here.


Anonymous said...

Poor Merck is like saying, "Poor

Robert H Hilley IV said...

What Is Fosamax?

Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Zometa, and Aredia are all in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates and are commonly marketed as medications to help and prevent or treat bone loss in osteoporosis.

There are over 36 million women who use medications like Fosamax to prevent or slow osteoporosis. Since the indication of hormone replacement therapy causing increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer, more women are taking bisphosphonates at an earlier age.

What Is The Problem With Fosamax?

Unfortunately with women taking these drugs at an earlier age and for much longer time spans, they are at an increased risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).

There have been over 2,400 patients since 2001 that have reported bone death and jaw bone decay or osteonecrosis of the jaw. In addition, more than 120 patients have suffered from such severe pain and debilitation that they have become bedridden or in need of devices like crutches, walkers and wheelchairs.


Rob Langhorn said...

Amazing how much Merck knew. Read this article from lawsuit search on Osteoporosis Drug Fosamax Linked to ONJ & Jaw Bone Death

Zoloft Birth Defect said...

Rob, unfortunately not only did Merck know, they did everything they could to avoid letting others know. You would be surprised how many drugs on the market today are dangerous enough to be removed by all logical reasoning, but stay on the market due to FDA negligence and big pharmaceutical corruption. My law firm sees what seems like a new drug lawsuit every day, and when it comes down to going to court, the drug companies never have a leg to stand on and end up paying out settlements to the victims. The inherent problem with this however is that they know that is the process for when they sell millions of bottles of defective drugs that have not gone through the necessary testing and been proven to be safe. They know that they can have they legal representation go to court, settle and cut a check to the victims and move on to the next drug. Its a vicious cycle, one that needs to be corrected.