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8 Million Dollar Verdict Against Merck For Its Osteoporosis Drug

A jury in New York awarded a plaintiff eight million dollars last week against Merck Pharmaceutical because of its drug Fosamax. In this suit and others the plaintiffs have claimed that Merck misrepresented the drug's safety and failed to warn doctors and patients that it might hamper blood flow to the jaw, causing jawbone-tissue death. The plaintiff (Shirley Boles, 72) had been taking the drug for 10 years. She was prescribed the drug by her doctors because of certain stress fractures in her foot. She subsequently developed problems with her jaw causing bone deterioration  following an extraction of two teeth. Her bone continued to deteriorate resulting in leakage  through her chin. She is now limited to eating soft foods  Fosamax, available in pill or liquid form, is part of a group of medicines known as bisphosphonates. Included in this group is Boniva the drug which has been heavily promoted by the actress Sally Field. These drugs are part of a group of medicines categorized as post menopausal which have become big business for many drug companies. At the time of trial counsel for the plaintiff claimed that these drugs have no known benefit. The complaint alleged that the drug Fosamax is defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous. The Boles case is the first to go to trial against Merck.

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