New Studies, Lawsuits and Generics Hammer Sales of Fosamax

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. Outlines the Hindrances Faced by Merck’s Fosamax
Nov. 28, 2012 - PRLog -- For years, Fosamax has been the golden goose for Merck consistently laying over $3.5 billion in sales per year. [1]. However, Merck’s goose may be cooked due to multiple studies linking spontaneous femur fractures and osteonecrosis of the jaw in long-term use of the drug. Litigation arising out of these injuries and the availability of a generic form is driving the nail further into the coffin. Ongoing research continues to reinforce the links between Fosamax and bone damage.

In fact, a new article published in October 2012 by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) detailed the serious complications faced by the victims of atypical femur fractures associated with the use of bisphosphonates (incl. Fosamax). [2]. These patients experienced delayed healing, prodromal pain, and persisting risk of a contralateral and/or other fractures.  Fosamax was approved by the FDA in 1995 and developed to treat post- menopausal osteoporosis and Paget's disease of bone.  Since 1997, Merck has marketed Fosamax to be used by lower-risk, non-osteoporotic patients, comprising nearly 80% of the patients taking Fosamax, according to JCEM.

However, the dangers and the efficacy of Fosamax have come into question in recent years. In 2011, Elizabeth Shane, M.D., President of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), testified before the FDA Joint Advisory Committee: “We recommend that bisphosphonates be reserved for patients who are at high-risk of fracture.” [3]. The ASMBR also recommended that Fosamax not be used by non-osteoporotic patients and noted that there was no demonstrated fracture reduction benefit from long-term use of drugs like Fosamax. In May, an FDA-commissioned analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine also noted that there was little benefit in taking Fosamax and similar drugs for longer than five years.  [4]. Global sales for Fosamax in 2012 are projected to be less than $700 million, down from the $3.5 billion in the mid 2000s.  Merck has been racing to develop the next generation osteoporosis drug, odancatib, to replace Fosamax.

If you or a loved one has been injured by Fosamax, contact the attorneys at Ennis & Ennis, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. Call toll free at 1-800-856-6405 or visit us on the web at and fill out an online case evaluation form.
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Tags:Fosamax, Merck, Femur Fracture, Osteonecrosis
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