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Posted On: February 26, 2013 by Altman & Altman

Jury Orders Merck to Pay $285,000 Fosamax Injury Verdict

A federal jury wants Merck & Co. to pay $285,000 in the drug injury case filed by a plaintiff who contends that the manufacturer did not warn her doctors about the risks involved with taking Fosamax. However, the jury did not agree with Rhoda Scheinberg’s contention that the osteoporosis drug was defective. Her Fosamax injury attorneys argued that taking the drug caused her to sustain a bone disease of the jaw after she had a tooth extracted.

This trial is a bellwether case. According to Reuters, there are over 4,000 Fosamax lawsuits pending in state and federal courts from injuries allegedly resulting from use of this medication.

According to the jury, Merck’s failure to warn about the risks involved with taking Fosamax caused Scheinberg’s personal injury. However, following the verdict, an attorney for Merck stated that the manufacturer does, in fact, provide proper warnings and believes that whether or not Scheinberg had taken Fosamax, she still would have been at risk for developing jaw and dental problems.

Fosamax Injury Cases
Unfortunately, Fosamax, which is a bisphosphonate that is prescribed to women suffering from osteoporosis (as well as Paget’s disease, bone metastases, and other bone diseases) has been linked to some serious side effects that are calling into question whether the drug’s supposed benefits—decelerating bone loss while increasing bone density—are worth it. The Food and Drug Administration has already confirmed that long-term use of Fosamax can lead to Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, also known as dead jaw syndrome and ONJ, atrial fibrillation, and esophageal cancer.

While in past blog posts, our Fosamax law firm has spoken in greater detail about the medication’s causal link to ONJ and other bone injuries, in this blog post, we would like to offer more detail about the drug’s possible connection to esophageal cancer and atrial fibrillation.

Fosamax and Atrial Fibrillation
One need only look to a study from 2007, which reported that Fosamax increases a woman’s chances of suffering from atrial fibrillation. This condition involves the development of an irregular heartbeat that can lead to complications.

Per the study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who took Fosamax developed an 86% great risk of developing atrial fibrillation than those who had never taken this medication. Doctors, however, also said that the results were not necessarily conclusive.

Fosamax and Esophageal Cancer
Meantime, a study last year by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which investigated data from the US Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System, found that bisphosphonate use was associated with 128 cases of medical cancer, with 96 of these involving alendronate (Fosamax’s generic name). Obviously, cancer, regardless of which type, can be a deadly disease, so for it to potentially develop in the esophagus (the tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach) because someone has taken a drug that is supposed to alleviate osteoporosis symptoms is disturbing indeed.

Related Web Resources:
Merck hit with $285,000 verdict in Fosamax trial, Reuters, February 5, 2013


Fosamax tied to increased risk of heart condition
, USA Today, April 28, 2008

Esophageal cancer, PubMedHealth, January 31, 2011


More Blog Posts:
Recent Fosamax Study Focuses on Atypical Femur Fracture Complications, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 10, 2012

Fosamax Lawsuit: Merck and Estate of Woman Who Suffered from Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Reach Confidential Damage Award Agreement, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, October 17, 2012

New FDA Report Suggests Exercising Caution About Using Fosamax Long-Term, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 11, 2012