United States and Canadian courts of law have adopted multiple district litigation proceedings to organize and streamline the process for dispensing justice to plaintiffs filing suit with drug manufacturers of Fosamax, media reports say. Current class suits now include complaints against intravenous and oral bisphosponates. 

The popular class of osteoporosis medication, bisphosphonates, has been embroiled in legal controversy for quite some time. There are rare and serious side-effects associated with the use of bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, Actonel, Aredia, or Zometa which include atypical femur fractures and osteonecrosis fo the jaw.   Major drug manufacturers are currently under scrutiny for producing and marketing these osteoporosis medication the most well known of which is Merck and Co. 

In 2000, the FDA received a steadily growing amount of complaints about Fosamax use and links to osteonecrosis of the jaw.  This complication was originally thought to be a consequence of intravenous bisphosphonate use but it was later found that oral bisphosphonates can cause similar incidences of the condition.

Osteonecrosis of the jaw or “dead jaw” syndrome is a disfiguring condition that causes the jaw bone to die.  Its symptoms include gum and jaw pain, infection, impaired wound healing, numbness, loss of teeth and tissue necrosis. By September 24, 2004 the FDA instructed Merck to include warnings of osteonecrosis of the jaw as a possible side-effect for Fosamax which has since made complaints of negligence on the part of the company harder to prove. Later in May 13, 2007 hundreds of cases were filed and pending trial against Merck and Fosamax related complaints which alleged that the drug company was responsible for profiting off the misfortune of patients who were mislead into taking the osteoporosis drug.

The first bellwether lawsuit against Merck for osteonecrosis of the jaw resulted in mistrial but regardless has since opened the door for more suits to follow against the bone drug manufacturer. Five more lawsuits were later tried and ended in victory for the pharmaceutical company except one which was appealed and yet to brought to superior court. Most of these subsequent court cases have ruled that Merck was not responsible for causing damages to the plaintiffs for their use of Fosamax related complications and further determined that the cause of osteonecrosis of the jaw is relatively unknown and not necessarily due to taking Fosamax. 

Even though Merck has won five out of six of its bellwether cases involving compensatory damages, more lawsuits are still waiting to be tried by plaintiffs who believe the company is still liable for their complications. Lawsuits involving atypical bone fractures are awaiting their turn to be tried against the pharmaceutical company. In 2011, there were as much as 2,345 cases from over 2,800 plaintiff groups that have filed cases still pending against Merck in either federal and state courts in both Canada and the US. 

URL References:
  • canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=80c4d7e8-123f-48a5-a914-e1146388d2a8&k=54519
  • merck.com/newsroom/news-release-archive/corporate/2012_0418.html
4/7/2016 05:53:52 pm


Helena Arseneautl
5/19/2016 12:44:50 pm

I am interested in knowing how to join the class action lawsuit in regards to bisphosphonates .

Thank-you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Helena Arseneault
5/19/2016 12:49:00 pm

Is there a financial cost to this agreement?

6/4/2017 09:21:41 am

I have all the documentation from my regular dentist and the orthodontist stating the reason why I lost two teeth and needed a bridge that doesn't have metal posts as due to the damage of my jaw, the bridge posts would infect me more. I have spent over $4000.00 in dental work.


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