Recent lawsuits allege that women have suffered Fosamax femur fractures. Fosamax is a bisphosphonate and, more and more, research supports a link between atypical fractures of the femur, generally without trauma, and bisphosphonate use. The drugs are prescribed to improve bone density and minimize osteoporosis-related bone fracture.
Two lawsuits filed on February 17, 2012 in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County— lawsuits involving alleged Fosamax side effects have been designated a mass tort here—were filed on behalf of women who allege they suffered femur fractures over use of Fosamax (Alendronate) for a number of years. Both women are represented by the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP.
The lawsuits name Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. f/k/a Merck & Co., Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. as defendants.
Irene Zarra was prescribed Fosamax, consistently using Fosamax from September 5, 2004 to February 2010; Ms. Zarra suffered a left femur facture on February 20, 2010. Ms. Zarra resides in Pennsylvania.
Lucille Handle, of Connecticut, alleges she was prescribed and consistently took Fosamax from January 21, 2006 to February 2010; Ms. Handle suffered a right femur fracture on February 25, 2010 and a left femur fracture on November 23, 2010.
Atypical femur fractures can happen with no or very little impact to the thigh and can happen in both thighs in one patient. Signs of this type of fracture can include a dull, aching pain in the thigh, hip, or groin. A partial fracture can become a complete fracture in weeks or months.
Both lawsuits allege that their fractures were a direct result of their long-term Fosamax use and that this Fosamax caused them severe mental and physical pain and suffering. Ms. Zarra and Ms. Handle also both allege that their prior Fosamax use will cause them to continue to sustain permanent injuries and emotional distress and financial loss over medical and living-related expenses resulting from their new lifestyle.
Both women also allege they would never have used Fosamax had the defendants properly released appropriate information on long-term use of the drug. The lawsuits seek compensatory, punitive, and treble damages and economic losses. The lawsuits also seek reimbursement of their Fosamax costs; past, present, and future health and medical costs related to Fosamax; and other damages.
“These women are just two examples of the hundreds of women that have suffered unnecessary femur fractures because they used a product that has no proven long-term efficacy,” said Matthew McCauley, lead attorney in the Bisphosphonate Litigation Group at Parker Waichman LLP that is investigating Fosamax-, Actonel- ,and Boniva-related femur fracture. “We look forward to the start of the first trials in this litigation, tentatively scheduled for the fall” McCauley added.
Other oral bisphosphonates are Actonel, Boniva, Didronel, and Skelid. Intravenously administered bisphosphonates are Aredia, Bonefos, and Zometa, and are prescribed to prevent fractures due to bone metastases in cancer patients.
In October 2010, information was added to the “Warnings and Precautions” section of the labels for bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis regarding their association with atypical femur fractures.