A world renowned pharmaceutical company has once again become the subject of intense scrutiny. Amidst the relentless allegations that have already shrouded Fosamax side effects, growing concerns regarding bone fractures continue to plague Merck & Co. In a recent development, Lois Takamori, a 62-year-old retired Kailua school teacher is suing the makers of Fosamax after breaking her thigh bone.
In 1995, Merck & Co. announced that it would be introducing a new medication used in the treatment of osteoporosis. After it gained approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fosamax escalated in popularity. Those suffering from the ill effects of bone mass loss from osteoporosis found comfort in knowing that Fosamax could help them. Alendronate sodium, the active ingredient found within Fosamax, belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. As their name suggests, bisphosphonates are a combination of two unique phosphate groups. They work cooperatively in order to prevent bone loss.
As a result of homeostasis, bone naturally undergoes turnover and is kept in balance by osteoblasts generating new bone and osteoclasts destroying old bone. In patients with osteoporosis, bone dexterity is diminished at a more rapid rate than it is generated. As a bisphosphonate, Fosamax inhibits the breakdown of bone by preventing the osteoclasts from destroying the bone any further. As a result, Fosamax effects promote steady bone growth.
Takamori had reportedly been taking Fosamax since she was diagnosed with osteoporosis about ten years earlier in 2001. However, it was not till 2009 when the retired school teacher suffered a broken thigh bone by simply taking a slight step backwards. As a result, Takamori filed a federal lawsuit against the drugmaker on Wednesday, claiming the thigh bone fracture was a result of taking the prescription drug Fosamax for eight years.
News of the lawsuit should come at no surprise to Merck & Co. As of March 31, Fosamax has been the subject of about 1,450 lawsuits, all of which blame the medication for severe bone complications or fractures that occur without the presence of excessive trauma or pressure.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) addressed the dangerous issues with Fosamax side effects in a letter to Merck & Co. that stated:
Since Fosamax was approved on September 29, 1995, we have become aware of a possible increased risk of atypical subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femoral fractures in patients taking bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, for the treatment and/or prevention of osteoporosis. Recent publications, including the 2010 Report of a Task Force of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, suggest that the risk of atypical fractures and diaphyseal femoral fractures increases with increased duration of bisphosphonate exposure.
In October 2010, the FDA demanded Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Fosamax, to change the labeling on the osteoporosis drug to include a warning citing the increased risk of Fosamax femur fractures among patients.
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Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Fosamax, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.