Fosamax Femur Fracture Lawsuit
How the risk for a femur fracture injury can be lowered

According to a new study the risk for suffering a second femur fracture injury may be lowered when the use of bisphosphonate drugs including Fosamax® are discontinued. The research, which was presented on January 8, 2012 at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting, indicates that stopping use of the medication significantly lowers the chances of suffering a second fracture.

Bisphosphonate drugs are prescribed to patients that suffer from osteoporosis, a chronic condition which causes bones to break easily. This class of drugs serves the purpose of strengthening weakened bones to prevent fractures. However, the Food and Drug Administration received reports claiming that drugs like Fosamax caused adverse side effects such as atypical femur fractures. This type of fracture typically involves sudden breaks and may include little to no trauma.

Over a three-year period, researchers evaluated 126 patients who had previously suffered femur fractures. Results of the study show that the risk of suffering a second femur fracture while not taking bisphosphonates is 18%. Individuals who continued to take bisphosphonates were at a 25.8% risk for suffering a second fracture during year one and that risk doubles after three years.

Fosamax, the most widely used bisphosphonate in the U.S., was introduced by Merck & Co. in 1995. Prior to the release of generic version, Fosamax generated $3 billion in annual sales.

In October of 2010, the FDA mandated updated warning labels for all bisphosphonate medications, including Fosamax, due to an increased number of reported femur fracture injuries allegedly caused by the medication.

Merck now faces Fosamax lawsuits filed by women who claim that the drug company failed to properly issue sufficient warnings related to femur fracture injuries. Three bellwether trials are scheduled for this year and will aid in predicting trends for future cases.


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