Fosamax/ONJ retrial to begin June 2

A new trial is scheduled to begin June 2 for the Fosamax/osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) case that ended in a mistrial last September, according to a story on

The lawsuit involves a claim by Shirley Boles, 71, who alleges that she developed ONJ in 2003 after using the drug for several years. According to Boles, Merck -- manufacturer of Fosamax -- failed to adequately warn about the risk of the jaw damage from Fosamax.

Earlier this month, a federal court jury in New York found in favor of Merck in the second trial involving Fosamax bisphosphonate drug. The jury unanimously rejected the claims of Louise Maley, an Indiana woman, who blamed her dental and jaw-related problems on her Fosamax use, according to the company.

In that trial, Merck presented evidence that it acted appropriately in researching and developing Fosamax, and in monitoring the medicine after it was placed on the market. The company's clinical trials have involved more than 28,000 patients, including more than 17,000 treated with Fosamax, according to Merck.

A third case is expected to go to trial in November.

Merck faces more than 900 other lawsuits that involve similar allegations that users of Fosamax developed ONJ. All federal cases are consolidated before Judge Keenan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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