Barely has the drug giant Merck recovered from the Vioxx disaster, it is now confronted with suits demanding compensation from users of its osteoporosis drug Fosamax. They complain of severely damaged jaws.
Lawyers on Friday asked a federal judge in New York to order the company to provide a dental monitoring program for the drug's users.
They argued for the case to be certified as a class-action. Timothy M. O'Brien, a lawyer for plaintiffs, said hundreds of thousands of patients would benefit from a dental monitoring program that would include regular dental screenings, X-rays and lab tests, all aimed at preventing the need for dental surgery.
Paul Strain, a Merck attorney, called Fosamax a