Second Fosamax Femur Trial Begins In New Jersey

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. reports that the second trial alleging that osteoporosis drug Fosamax caused a femur fracture began this week before U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano in Trenton, New Jersey.
 
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - April 11, 2013 - PRLog -- The second trial alleging that osteoporosis drug Fosamax caused a femur fracture began this week before U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano in Trenton, New Jersey. It is the second case against Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, in as many months after the first case ended in a mistrial due the illness of the Plaintiff during the middle of trial.  Merck, the second largest drug manufacturer is facing more than 3,300 lawsuits claiming that Merck ignored warning signs that extended use of bisphosphonates, like Fosamax, caused the femur to deteriorate in some patients. Merck is also battling another 1,230 cases alleging Fosamax caused similar bone damage in the jaw.

Plaintiff, Bernadette Glynn claims Fosamax weakened her femur, causing her leg to break when she fell down in her driveway. Her complaint stated that she felt a “pinch” in her right leg as she bent over to pick something up. “She then attempted to take a step, but fell and sustained a fracture on her right femur, requiring repair with a rod and screws.” As the first case ended without resolution, this case could be a bellwether trial, indicating trial strategies of the parties and potential damage awards.  

According to a September 2010 report in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, as many as 94 percent of 310 patients who had an uncommon type of thigh- bone fracture were taking a bisphosphonate-based drug. Most patients had been taking the drug for greater than five years. The FDA reviewed the data and added warnings to the drugs’ labels, cautioning doctors concerning their long-term use.  In 2011, an FDA advisory panel researched the drug’s risk-including femur fracture data, and advised warnings and restrictions on long-term use. Last year, the FDA noted that the bone drugs deliver only limited-if any-benefit after three to five years of use.

According to the plaintiffs, Merck was aware that Fosamax might cause brittle bones and increase fracture risks years before the drug was marketed to the public. Plaintiff contends that as early as 1990, five years before FDA approval, consultants warned Merck that Fosamax could lead to spontaneous fracture by preventing bones’ natural daily repair of so-called micro-fractures and Merck should have warned of such dangers. Plaintiff’s counsel noted that the femur is the strongest bone in the body and usually breaks in high impact accidents such as car accidents and not merely from a fall.  Since Fosamax is designed to repair daily bone damage by stopping the natural clearing of old bone, the process results in micro-fractures building up instead of being naturally replaced and that such information was known to Merck.

The case is Glynn v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., 3:11-cv-05304, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

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 www.ennislaw.com and fill out an online case evaluation form.
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