Fosamax: Cure or Cause

Dear Bailey & Galyen client:

As we age and as a normal part of the aging process, it is very common for our bone tissue to thin out and suffer a loss of the bone density.  This condition is called osteoporosis, and it causes a weakening of the bone that makes it brittle and more prone to fractures and breaks.  Many people don’t even know this is occurring in their bones unless they receive a doctor’s diagnosis.

One fact is that women are five times more likely to get osteoporosis than men.   Physicians know there is no way to stop osteoporosis or to cure osteoporosis.  Physicians do know that their patients can slow down this process by taking enough calcium, vitamin D, exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake to no more than one glass per day.

Pharmaceutical giant, Merck, has convinced the medical profession that it has a drug that can prevent and slow down or stop the bone loss and prevent fractures by strengthening the bone with its prescription drug, Fosamax.  Sounded good to the doctors, as most pharmaceutical sales pitches do, and doctors began and continued prescribing Fosamax by the tens of thousands for over a decade.

An increase in reports to the FDA of femur fractures from women taking Fosamax got the attention of the FDA.  Female patients were suffering atypical femur fractures that occurred in the femur from just below the hip to above the knee.  The FDA was concerned because it found that these very uncommon atypical fracture were common in women with long term exposure to Fosamax.  The FDA required Merck to strengthen Fosamax’s warnings to clearly state that it can cause atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures.

The truly disturbing fact about this is that Fosamax was FDA approved, advertised and marketed to prevent bone weakening and breakage by slowing or inhibiting the loss of bone mass.  Now, more than a decade later, we learn through the FDA – not Merck – that Fosamax actually causes the rather large femur bone to become brittle to where it is easily broken without any impact, fall or trauma.  Merck, however, convinced the FDA that it had a drug that prevented this natural part of the aging process.  Merck hid from the FDA, doctors and patients the fact that it has known since Fosamax’s FDA approval that Fosamax actually made the femur brittle and more susceptible to hairline fractures and breaks than the natural aging process itself.

Bailey & Galyen is accepting cases against Merck where women have taken Fosamax for 4 years or more and suffered a broken femur while on Fosamax or shortly after stopping Fosamax. If you took Fosamax and suffered a broken femur while on Fosamax or shortly after stopping Fosamax, or to discuss your legal rights and potential claim.

Very sincerely,

Robert A. Schwartz

Executive Vice President and

Attorney in Charge of Pharmaceutical Litigation

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply