A class of drugs called bisphosphonates are typically prescribed to individuals with osteoporosis or other bone diseases in order to prevent the loss of bone mass and restore the bone’s strength. Unfortunately, a number of studies in recent years have exposed the connection between the use of the bisphosphonate drug, Fosamax, and serious side effects like femur fractures. Fosamax is supposed to work by slowing the activity of cells which break down the bone, thereby making bones stronger and decreasing the frequency of fractures. However, studies have shown that over time, Fosamax can inhibit bone turnover and result in significant bone decay, permanently affecting the bone’s natural ability to protect itself from harm and leading to significant bone conditions and femur fractures.
Although the femur is the strongest bone in the body, many Fosamax-related femur fractures have occurred while the victim is performing a simple task, like walking, using the stairs and participating in low-impact exercises. This speaks to the significant damage that Fosamax use is inflicting upon the bones of individuals who take the medications. According to the chief of metabolic bone disease at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, while Fosamax may initially prevent bone loss, long-term use of the drug causes individuals to lose their ability to regenerate the skeleton, resulting in severely brittle bones prone to fracture.
In 2008, a shocking study performed by the Cornell University Medical School suggested that individuals who take Fosamax are 125 times more likely to suffer from femur fractures than people who do not take the medication. Shortly afterwards, the Food and Drug Administration discussed with Fosamax’s manufacturing company, Merck & Co., the possible link between Fosamax and the occurrence of femur fractures. It wasn’t until sixteen months later that Fosamax added the possibility of femur fractures to the list of side effects on the insert included in the drug’s packaging. During those sixteen months, individuals may have continued to take Fosamax and put themselves at risk of femur fractures, unaware that Merck already knew about the connection between serious fractures and the drug. Because of this significant passage of time without any warning being issued, Merck has been criticized for being aware of the dangers of Fosamax and failing to alert the public within a reasonable amount of time.
Drug manufacturing companies are responsible for the safety of their medications, as well as the harmful injuries sustained by consumers of their drugs. Before a new drug can be approved by the FDA, it must undergo extensive testing by the manufacturing company in order to ensure its safety. Unfortunately, it is common for pharmaceutical companies to conceal the more serious side effects linked to their drugs in order to expedite FDA approval. This leaves countless consumers unknowingly at risk for serious side effects like femur fractures just by taking their prescription medication. It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to alert the public of the possible adverse side effects linked to their drug. Without accurate information, individuals may continue to take the drug unaware of the irreversible harm they may be inflicting on their bones.
Despite these dangers, Fosamax remains on the market today and it is estimated that ten million people have taken or are currently taking Fosamax to treat osteoporosis or other forms of bone disease. The complications associated with Fosamax can be significant and even debilitating. Victims of femur fractures associated with the use of Fosamax are not at fault and should consider how a Fosamax lawsuit can benefit them. A number of Fosamax lawsuits have already been filed against Merck, some of which have awarded injury victims millions of dollars in damages. Fosamax attorneys work to protect your rights as a victim, and defective drug lawsuits bring attention to the need for safer drugs and stronger regulations on dangerous drugs. If you or a loved one has suffered from a femur fracture due to the use of Fosamax, contact a Fosamax attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and a Fosamax lawyer can help you develop a successful case.