Lawyers USA, one of my favorite legal publications, reported that Fosamax® lawsuits are set to take off in 2009. Fosamax®, manufactured by Merck is used for treatment of osteoporosis.
700 plaintiffs are alleging that Merck failed to warn users of the potential risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw which causes the jaw to deteriorate. The plaintiffs also allege that the FDA upon approval in 1995 requested Merck to perform further testing and place a warning on the package.
Another reported alleged complication of Fosamax® is atrial fibrillation.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultants interested in Fosamax® litigation should research on the Internet both the plaintiff and defense attorneys representing these cases. Fosamax® cases will undoubtedly increase in number, and will create a long-term legal nurse consulting opportunity.
- Assess all relevant prior medical records for causation and risk of osteonecrosis unrelated to Fosamax®. (Example – history of receiving chemotherapy.)
- Provide a detailed history regarding the plaintiff’s use of Fosamax®.
- Assess and provide a summary of medical records for evidence of osteonecrosis or atrial fibrillation and related injuries and damages.
- Research, summarize and create a “library” of all relevant, peer-reviewed articles on Fosamax® and its relationship to osteonecrosis and atrial fibrillation. Educate the attorney about the mechanism of Fosamax®. Avoid nonauthoritative Internet services.
- If working with an attorney who represents numerous plaintiffs, identify the percentage of plaintiffs who have osteonecrosis, atrial fibrillation or both osteonecrosis and atrial fibrillation.
- Develop a plaintiff interview form focused on Fosamax® to interview plaintiffs quickly and consistently.
- Locating medical experts, i.e., pharmacologists and dental surgeons who are qualified to testify to alleged defect and causation issues. Communicate with experts on behalf of your attorney-client.
- Analyze and summarize all medical expert testimony for accuracy, and both favorable and unfavorable opinions.
Fosamax® cases will be a hot topic for years to come. This is the time to jump in and be part of this very interesting litigation. Incorporate these eight specific services when you market your legal nurse consulting business, and attorneys handling Fosamax® cases will instantly see how you can save them time and money.
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