Merck & Co., Inc. to Pay $285,000 in Fosamax® Lawsuit, Other Cases Pending
Posted in Fosamax® on February 7, 2013
Over 4,000 lawsuits involving Fosamax®, an osteoporosis drug manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., are pending in federal and state courts. On February 5, 2013, in Scheinberg v. Merck & Co, Inc., Merck encountered its second loss out of seven cases in which the company will pay $285,000 to the plaintiff, Rhoda Scheinberg.
The 69-year-old plaintiff argued that Fosamax lead to her suffering prolonged healing and a bone disease of the jaw after a tooth extraction. An eight-person jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan determined that Merck failed to warn the plaintiff’s doctors about the risks of taking Fosamax and that this failure to warn caused the plaintiff’s injury. However, the plaintiff’s claim that Fosamax is a defective product was denied by the jury.
Merck noted in a statement that it does not agree with the verdict and stated that the jury produced a mixed verdict.
This lawsuit was filed in 2008 as one of 975 awaiting trial before U.S. District Judge John Keenan in New York after Fosamax cases claiming jaw-related injuries were consolidated. Pending in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey are 842 other lawsuits claiming femur injuries. Additional lawsuits are awaiting trial in state courts.
The first Fosamax lawsuit to end in favor of a plaintiff was an $8 million verdict by a federal jury in Manhattan for a Florida woman who claimed to have developed osteonecrosis of the jaw.
FDA safety labeling changes for Fosamax were released in 2010. Fosamax label revisions were made in relation to osteonecrosis of the jaw and minor revisions were made to the section on upper gastrointestinal adverse reactions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified Fosamax post-marketing experience as being localized osteonecrosis of the jaw, typically in connection with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing. Low-energy femoral shaft and subtrochanteric fractures, as well as thigh bone fracture and hip pain, are additional adverse reactions experienced by some patients.
Individuals taking Fosamax hope to reduce the risk of bone fracture often caused by osteoporosis. Those who have taken Fosamax and suffered serious side effects are not just coping with the ramifications in the short-term; the potential adverse reactions have resulted in, and may continue to cause, significant physical, emotional, and financial damages.