Did Merck Hide the Risks of Fosamax?

Previous Article Next Article
July 25, 2007 | 58,551 views

Merck, maker of osteoporosis drug Fosamax, may have “seriously under reported” the risks of "jawbone death" related to the drug, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. A class-action lawsuit has been filed claiming that Merck knew about the risk of jawbone death but hid it from the public.

"Jawbone death" is associated with the use of a bisphosphonate class of drugs (to which Fosamax belongs).  Also known as Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ), is a serious side effect that destroys the bone in the jaw, and is difficult to treat.

BRONJ was reported by oral surgeons, who noticed the condition among patients treated with intravenous forms of bisphosphonates in 2003. A broader warning of BRONJ was issued for the entire class of drugs in 2005.

Fosamax is prescribed to about 10 million men and women -- mostly postmenopausal women -- each year to help increase bone density, with annual sales of $3 billion. Over 190 million prescriptions for oral bisphosphonate drugs have been dispensed worldwide.

LawyersAndSettlements.com July 19, 2007

BRONJ is becoming so common, as are prescriptions for Fosamax, that dentists are now referring to it as “Fossy Jaw.” Essentially, the condition causes your jaw bone to rot and decay -- quite ironic considering the drugs are primarily taken by people looking to strengthen their bones.

Bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax and Boniva, are problematic because they stay in the bone indefinitely and may upset the cell balance, disrupting the process by which jaws regenerate and remove unhealthy bone.

It’s not surprising that Merck may have known about the risks of Fosamax and intentionally tried to keep them under wraps; they did the same thing with their tragically dangerous painkiller Vioxx.

I warned about the dangers of Fosamax nearly a decade ago, and it still makes no sense to take an osteoporosis drug that can literally kill your jawbone.

What can you do to strengthen your bones safely and naturally?