CANADA — Merck, who makes Fosamax and Fosavance, has settled class action lawsuits for these drugs with various plaintiffs throughout Canada. The settlement still must be approved by the court before it officially takes effect. Even though the settlement applies for Canadian suits only and not suits filed in the United States, it sets a good precedent for U.S. cases and also demonstrates Fosamax’s manufacturer’s willingness to cooperate. The settlement, which is for just over 6 million Canadian dollars, will be paid to plaintiffs who have alleged health complications from using the drugs or to their families if they are deceased, as well as to health insurers.

Fosamax, which is also known as alendronate, has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration since 1995 for use in treating osteoporosis in women undergoing menopause. Fosamax is also approved to treat patients of either gender who have bones that have been weakened from steroids or who suffer from Paget’s disease of the bone or osteoporosis in general. Although millions of patients have been prescribed Fosamax, the drug has been linked to serious side effects, such as preventing the body from removing or repairing old bone. This complication can result in severe, atypical fractures. Additionally, Fosamax has been linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw, or ONJ. ONJ is caused by not enough blood reaching the jaw and, in severe cases, can even require surgical removal of the jaw. As a result of these severe side effects, many lawsuits have been filed in the United States as well, where they have been consolidated in multi-district litigation.

Despite the Canadian settlement, however, Merck, which is known as MSD outside of Canada and the United States, still maintains that their drugs are safe and do not cause any health or bone problems. Since the cases were not tried in court before the settlement, there is no precedent for whether Fosamax and Fosavance do cause bone density complications or whether Merck knew about these problems and failed to provide adequate warnings, as the lawsuits allege.

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Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by Fosamax.   Lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by this dangerous drug.  You may be entitled to a settlement. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement.

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