Merck Faces First State Trial on Fosamax

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (Courtroom View Network) -- Merck (MRK) faces its first state-court trial next week related to its Fosamax treatment for osteoporosis.

"FOSAMAX" is the brand name for Alendronate Sodium and has been used since 1995 as an osteoporosis treatment for postmenopausal women. Some studies have shown that oral bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, may increase the result of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), or bone death. A generic version of alendronate is manufactured by Teva ( TEVA).

The Mayo Clinic's website advises that aledronate is safe for patients who do not have cancer or active dental disease, such as a recent tooth extraction.

Plaintiff Alison Rosenberg claims that her jaw problems resulted from the use of Fosamax, and Merck's failure to timely warn of the risks. Merck claims that the harm to Ms. Rosenberg's jaw was caused by other health problems and medications.

Rosenberg v. Merck will be the fourth FOSAMAX trial, and the first in state court. The prior three trials, in federal court, resulted in two defense verdicts and a plaintiff verdict.

Other upcoming cases:

Knoch v. Safeway Trial 2010-05-06 In Extended Recess

Jones v. Wells Fargo Trial 2010-12-01 In Extended Recess

PharmAthene v. Siga Trial 2011-01-03 In Progress

Gas Transmission Co. of Florida v. DOT Trial 2011-01-05 In Progress

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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