Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuit
Three bellwether trials against Merck scheduled for 2012

Three bellwether trials are scheduled to take place in 2012 against Merck & Company, manufacturer of the popular bisphosphonate medication known as Fosamax. U.S. District Judge John Keenan issued an order calling for the Fosamax lawsuits to occur in May, September, and November.

Each plaintiff makes similar claims that effects of Fosamax caused them to suffer osteonecrosis (ONJ) or “dead jaw.” This injury occurs when the jaw bone begins to decay which may cause it to show through the skin. As a result in some cases, full or partial jaw removal is required.

Fosamax was introduced as a treatment for osteoporosis, a chronic condition which causes the bones to become weak and/or break. Since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which took place in October of 1995, approximately 20 million people have taken the medication. The popular bisphosphonate medication brought in $3 million in annual sales for Merck prior to the release of a generic version of Fosamax.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration issued a medical advisory warning doctors and patients about the side effects of Fosamax use. Two years later, the FDA mandated new warning labels for all bisphosphonate drugs.

Currently Merck faces about 1,000 product liability lawsuits. Some claims state that the drug caused jaw damage while others claim that the drug caused them to suffer atypical femur fractures. All federal cases filed by plaintiffs who claim Fosamax causes jaw damage are consolidated before Judge Keenan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL). However, all cases filed by plaintiffs who claim Fosamax causes atypical femur fractures have been consolidated as part of a different MDL and is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.




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