Merck Wins Another FOSAMAX® (alendronate Sodium) State Court Trial

Merck, known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, today said a state court jury in New Jersey found in its favor in the Sessner v. Merck case, rejecting the claims of a woman who blamed her jaw-related problems on her FOSAMAX use.

“We believe the evidence showed the company acted properly, and that FOSAMAX did not cause the plaintiff’s dental and jaw problems,” said Christy Jones of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC, outside counsel for Merck. “Unfortunately, the plaintiff had medical conditions that can result in the development of jaw and dental problems in people, regardless of whether they were taking FOSAMAX. She had evidence of significant infections that required invasive dental procedures and had conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to heal.”

With today's verdict, Merck won the second state court case to go to trial in the coordinated New Jersey FOSAMAX litigation. The plaintiff in this case alleged she used FOSAMAX from 2002 to 2008 and that she suffered various jaw problems and complications following the extraction of four teeth in October 2007.

At trial, Merck presented evidence that it acted responsibly in researching and developing FOSAMAX and in monitoring the medicine since it has been on the market. The company’s clinical trials, conducted both before and following approval, have involved more than 28,000 patients, including more than 17,000 treated with FOSAMAX.

“We agree with the jury’s verdict. The company provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX to consumers and the medical, scientific and regulatory communities,” said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. "FOSAMAX is a safe and effective medicine when used in accordance with the label.”

Judge Carol E. Higbee of the Superior Court for Atlantic County, N.J., presided over the trial. Merck is represented by Christy Jones of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC in Ridgeland, Miss.; Eileen Muskett of Fox Rothschild LLP in Atlantic City, N.J.; and Paul Strain of Venable LLP in Baltimore, Md.

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