The New England Journal of Medicine (“NEJM”) has recently published an article linking bisphosphonates (an osteoporosis class of drugs including Fosamax, Boniva, and Reclast) to an increased risk of an atypical femur fracture. (Learn more about femoral shaft fractures)
Bisphosphonates are a class of osteoporosis drugs—including the very-popular drug Fosamax—that have been linked to increased risk of bone breaks like femur fractures as well as other potential Fosamax injuries.
The study, published on May 5, 2011 in the New England Journal of Medicine (“NEJM”), found that the increased risk of an “atypical” fracture in bisphosphonate-using women 55 and older. Specifically, they report that:
The risk of an atypical fracture was higher with an increasing duration of bisphosphonate use, with an odds ratio of 1.3 . . . per 100 prescribed daily doses. This risk was approximately 10 times as high as a normal level of risk within the first 2 years of use and 50 times as high thereafter The data did not suggest that the risk continued to increase with a longer duration of treatment. . .
Most atypical fractures associated with bisphosphonate use occurred within 1 year after the last prescription. There was a 70% reduction in risk for every year since the last use. The risk reduction was similar if the bisphosphonates had been prescribed for less than 2 years or for 2 years or more.
Moreover, the researchers reported that "the women who sustained atypical fractures did not appear to be especially frail. They had a lower frequency of previous osteoporotic fractures than the controls."
The researchers included Dr. Per Aspenberg, who disclosed financial ties to a company that hopes to commercialize a bisphosphonate product (and to which he holds the patent). Dr. Aspenberg explained in his disclosure form to the NEJM that he had “receiv[ed] consulting fees from [drug manufacturer] Eli Lilly and Amgen and grant support to his institution, Linköping University, from Eli Lilly and Amgen, as well as holding stock in AddBIO, a company trying to commercialize a method for bisphosphonate coating of implants to be inserted in bone, and holding a patent for this method.” Eli Lilly is not a bisphosphonate manufacturer as of this writing.
Dr. Per Aspenberg and his associates conducted the study on 1,234 women 55 years and older who suffered from a femoral shaft fracture.
The Spangenberg law firm has provided information on potential Fosamax lawsuits at www.my-fosamax-lawsuit.com. The website provides information on Fosamax femur fractures and other possibly Fosamax-related injuries. The Spangenberg law firm can also be reached at 1-877-696-3303.