Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 5, 2020

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Two new studies show that Merck & Company’s bisphosphonate osteoporosis drug Fosamax may increase the risk of atypical femur fractures and adversely affect bone quality when used for four or more years. Not good news for the pharmaceutical giant whose profits from Fosamax were $1.6 billion in 2008.

Studies show Fosamax injuries

Two separate studies, both presented at the March 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), reported that Fosamax’s side effects may be worse than previously believed. Here’s what the studies reported according to an AAOS press release:

Two separate studies by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Columbia University Medical Center revealed data suggesting that long-term suppression of bone remodeling by bisphosphonate treatments may alter the material properties of bone, potentially affecting the bone’s mechanical integrity and potentially contributing to the risk of atypical fractures….

Scientists at both institutions noted that the culprit behind the diminishing results may be the fact that bisphosphonates suppress the body’s natural process of remodeling bone. “Recent research suggests that suppressed bone remodeling from long-term bisphosphonate use might result in brittle bone that is prone to atypical fractures.

Although Merck has said that it is investigating these issues, Fosamax injury attorneys say that it is little comfort to Fosamax patients who have already suffered serious bone fractures or Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) – another potentially deadly side effect of bisphosphonate use.

ONJ injuries

Osteonecrosis of the jaw, also referred to as jaw death or jaw necrosis, is a debilitating and very painful condition in which parts of the jaw bone die. Fosamax lawyers say that consumers with Osteoporosis, Ostiopenia or even pre-Osteopenia may have grounds to file lawsuits against Merck as they took Fosamax without being fully informed and that the drug maker failed to warn them of the risks it did know about or should have known about.

If you’ve been injured due to Fosamax use, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer or product liability lawyer in your state to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to damages including, but not limited to: 1) out of pocket, or compensatory, damages 2) past and future pain and suffering and 3) punitive damages.