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Fosamax Injury Lawsuit Alleges Merck Hid Drug’s Risks

Filed March 13th, 2013 F.A. Kelley

Merck & Co. hid the risks of bone fracture associated with its osteoporosis drug, Fosamax, a lawyer told a New Jersey jury, Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges that Merck researchers overlooked indications that long-term use of bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, caused femurs to weaken in patients, Bloomberg News said. This case is the first of more than 3,000 to go to trial that were brought against Merck that allege Fosamax use resulted in femur fractures. The lawsuit alleges that Merck officials turned the other way when it came to Fosamax safety risks in order to increase sales and that the drug maker tried to sell the drug to women who were not suffering from osteoporosis, Bloomberg News said.

The plaintiff is a retired computer-systems analyst who began taking Fosamax in June 2003, and remained on the medication for more than five years, Bloomberg News wrote. She suffered a broken right femur in 2009, allegedly due to long-term use of Fosamax. Later that year, doctors implanted a metal rod in her left femur to deal with stress fractures, said Bloomberg News.

The woman’s lawyer claims that, in an attempt to protect sales, Merck ignored 15 years worth of studies linking Fosamax to fractures and referenced a 2006 email sent by a Merck official based in Singapore. The email was sent to company executives warning of reports that Fosamax users in Singapore suffered from brittle bones, Bloomberg News said.

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