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Merck Hid Fosamax’s Bone-Weakening Risks, Lawyer Contends

Merck & Co. officials hid the risks that its Fosamax osteoporosis drug could weaken bones and lead to femur fractures, a lawyer told a New Jersey jury in the first case raising such claims to come to trial.

Merck researchers ignored signs that extended use of drugs known as bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, caused femurs to deteriorate in patients such as Christina Su, said Karen Menzies, one of Su’s lawyers, today in opening statements of the trial of the woman’s claims over the drug. Merck officials have said in securities filings that they face more than 3,300 lawsuits alleging Fosamax caused such fractures.