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Louisiana Fosamax Lawsuit Claims Long-Term Use Caused Thigh Fractures

Apr 28, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

The osteoporosis drug Fosamax has been named in a lawsuit alleging it caused a Louisiana woman to suffer unexplained thigh fractures.  The plaintiff, Josephine P. Naccio of Lafourche Parish, says in her Fosamax thigh fracture lawsuit that she never would have used the medication had she known of its long-term risks.

Last October, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that long-term use of Fosamax and other similar bone drugs, known collectively as bisphophonates, had been associated with subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures. Atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures are fractures in the bone just below the hip joint. Diaphyseal femur fractures occur in the long part of the thigh bone. The FDA warning followed a study conducted by the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research Subtrochanteric Femoral Fracture Task Force that examined more than 300 cases of such fractures. The study fund that 94 percent of the patients had taken bisphosphonates for osteoporosis, and most had been on the drugs for five years or more.

In her Fosamax lawsuit, Naccio claims she took the drug long-term for the treatment of osteoporosis.   She accuses Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. f/k/a Merck & Co. Inc., Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Barr Laboratories Inc., the manufacturers of Fosamax, of concealing the "unreasonably dangerous risks" of femur fractures. They are also accused of failing to conduct post-marketing surveillance.

Throughout the country, dozens of women have filed similar Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers throughout the U.S. also report that they continue to receive inquiries and are reviewing additional Fosamax bone fracture claims, so the number of lawsuits is expected to grow.

Merck & Co. recently motioned to have the growing number Fosamax bone fracture lawsuits consolidated in one court as a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Merck wants the lawsuits consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where it has its headquarters, or in the U.S. District for the Western District of Louisiana.

An MDL allows lawsuits associated with a particular product to be coordinated under one judge for pretrial litigation to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and to conserve the resources of the parties, witnesses and the court.

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