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Edward Nitkewicz
Edward Nitkewicz
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Fosamax leadership team announced for femur fracture cases filed against Merck

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The United States District Court has appointed several prominent mass tort lawyers, including Victoria Maniatis of the Sanders Law Firm, to serve as members of the plaintiffs’ committee of the multidistrict litigation involving the osteoporisis drug, Fosamax.

U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr., who is presiding over all federal Fosamax femur fracture lawsuits, has appointed a number of lawyers to serve in leadership roles in the recently formed multidistrict litigation (MDL). These attorneys will perform certain actions during the coordinated pretrial litigation that will benefit all plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit over a fractured femur from Fosamax, a popular osteoporosis medication manufactured by Merck & Co.

Fosamax was first the subject of lawsuits alleging that the drug causes osteonecrosis of the jaw. In October, the FDA issued a safety update regarding the risks of atypical fractures of the thigh, known as subtrochanteric and diaphyseal femur fractures, in patients who take bisphosphonates for osteoporosis. In January of 2011, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., issued a new label with a safety precaution regarding "Atypical Subtrochantric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures." In February 2011, the Journal of American Medical Association published a study that concluded:

Among older women, treatment with a bisphosphonate for more than 5 years was associated with an increased risk of subtrochanteric or femoral shaft fractures; however, the absolute risk of these fractures is low.

As a result, it is expected that there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of claims brought against Merck for the dangerous side effects of Fosamax.