US jury rules in Merck & Co.'s favour in Fosamax case

Merck & Co. announced that a US jury ruled in the company's favour in a lawsuit over claims that Fosamax (alendronate) caused the plaintiff to suffer an atypical femur fracture. Bruce N. Kuhlik, general counsel of Merck, said "we are pleased with the jury’s verdict," adding that the drugmaker "provided appropriate and timely information about Fosamax to consumers and the medical, scientific and regulatory communities."

In the case in the District Court of New Jersey, Merck said that it "presented evidence that Fosamax did not cause the plaintiff’s fracture, and that the company acted responsibly in researching and developing Fosamax and in monitoring the medicine since it has been on the market." The drug, which amongst other indications is used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, was approved by the FDA in 1995.

According to Merck, the lawsuit is the ninth Fosamax case to go to trial out of approximately 4560 cases, which include around 5140 plaintiff groups, pending in federal or state court. The company noted that the first of around 3300 suits related to alleged femur fractures resulted in a mistrial earlier this year. The seven other trials involved claims that Fosamax use was associated with jaw-related problems. Merck has won five of these trials, and has appealed one of the other suits.

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