Dentistry,  Fosamax,  Oral Bisphosphonates,  Osteonecrosis

Fosamax Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Lawsuit Set for Trial September 7

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ)

Another oral bisphosphonate (Fosamax with ONJ) lawsuit trial set.

The next trial date for a Fosamax lawsuit involving jaw necrosis is scheduled to begin early next month.

The Fosamax trial will involve a complaint brought by Linda Secrest, of Florida, who alleges that Merck failed to adequately warn that side effects of Fosamax, the popular osteoporosis drug, can lead to severe jaw bone decay. Trial is scheduled to begin on September 7, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Fosamax is an osteoporosis drug that belongs to a family of similar medications known as bisphosphonates. Long-term use of oral bisphosphonates has been linked to an increased risk of serious and debilitating jaw problems, known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. The condition causes the jaw bone to decay and rot, often resulting in the need for surgery to remove portions of the jaw.

Merck currently faces more than 1,100 Fosamax jaw lawsuits, most of which have been consolidated and centralized for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.

There have already been several trials for Fosamax jaw necrosis lawsuits that have been held in the federal MDL over the last two years. While Merck has successfully defended its medication in three cases, one lawsuit resulted in an $8 million jury award for Fosamax jaw damage last year, finding that Merck failed to adequately research the potential side effects of warn about the risk of jaw necrosis from Fosamax.

A few more cases and Merck will probably propose some industry-wide settlement agreement.

Next up will be the lawsuits over bone fractures from Fosamax.