Woman loses case against osteoporosis drug company

A New York jury recently found that Merck & Company's osteoporosis drug Fosamax is not responsible for a Florida woman's dental and jaw problems, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Judith Graves sued Merck in 2006, alleging that the company failed to warn doctors and patients that the bone-loss prevention drug was linked to jaw tissue deterioration. Graves said she developed jaw problems that required multiple surgeries after taking the drug. Merck said her condition was connected to underlying medical conditions.

"The evidence showed the company acted properly and that Fosamax did not cause the plaintiff's dental and jaw problems," Mike Brock, Merck's attorney, said in a statement. "The plaintiff had multiple medical conditions that can cause people to develop jaw and dental problems."

Merck - based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey - is facing more than 1,500 claims in federal and state courts alleging Fosamax defects, the company said. With today's decision, Merck has won two of the three cases that have gone to a jury verdict. In the third case, the jury's $8 million award was reduced to $1.5 million.

Approximately eight million women and two million men have osteoporosis in the U.S., according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
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