Today, there’s a lot to cover on the latest osteoporosis news. From lawsuits against Merck to mad science and more. Plus you’ll read about the astonishing declaration by a major drug company’s VP of Clinical Research stating that a popular osteoporosis and osteopenia drug is useless for fracture prevention.
Intrigued? I know I was when I read the information I’m bringing you today. So let’s get started.
Fosamax Lawsuit: No Surprise to Merck
Fosamax has the distinction of being the first drug approved for osteoporosis in 1995. It has generated multibillion dollar sales for Merck, as (not coincidentally), the guidelines for what constituted an osteoporosis diagnosis were stretched and modified just one year before its release into the marketplace.
As side effects became more numerous and dire, lawsuits arose. One prominent class-action suit includes 3,300 cases of atypical femur fracture. That’s right – this drug that is supposed to “cure” osteoporosis has been implicated in thousands of cases of femur fracture. It’s quite ironic when you consider that doctors often scare their patients into taking osteoporosis drugs by telling them they’ll succumb to fractures if they don’t take the medications.
One particular ongoing lawsuit is going before a jury, the case of Bernadette Glynn. And her lawyer, Paul Pennock, has had some pretty bold and drastic accusations against pharmaceutical giant Merck.
An elementary school worker, Bernadette claims she bent over to pick something up in her garden when her thigh bone snapped in two places. Predictably, Merck claims that Glynn’s fracture was not “atypical” (the sort of unusual fracture associated with bisphosphonates like Fosamax), and further claims that Glynn actually had a fall that caused the femoral break.
“Pennock said femurs, as the strongest bones in the body, usually only break in high-force incidents, such as car accidents, and not from falling down. Because Fosamax is designed to repair daily bone damage by stopping the natural clearing of old bone, the process results in micro-fractures building up instead of being naturally replaced, he said.1
Note that it’s apparently common knowledge that Fosamax stops “the natural clearing of old bone”. Additionally, Pennock accuses Merck of blatantly ignoring warnings by consultants that atypical fractures would inevitably happen:
“Starting in 1990, five years before Fosamax won approval by U.S. regulators, consultants began warning Merck that the drug could lead to spontaneous fractures in some users by preventing bones’ natural daily repair of so-called micro-fractures, Paul Pennock, the lawyer for plaintiff Bernadette Glynn, said today in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey. … ‘The evidence is going to show you that it wasn’t a surprise — it wasn’t coming out of the blue,’ [Pennock] said of Merck’s discovery of Fosamax’s possible fracture risks. ‘They looked for it and studied it — when all the information starting [sic] coming in, they did nothing about it.’” 1
Fosamax Useless for Osteopenia, Merck’s VP for Clinical Research Confesses
Believe it or not, Bernadette Glenn was never diagnosed with osteoporosis. According to her lawyer, she was given Fosamax for “low bone-mass density” or osteopenia (an invented precursor to osteoporosis). As mentioned above, the reasons for prescribing these drugs get broader and broader so that the drug companies can profit more and more.
So “patients” without osteoporosis – like Bernadette Glynn – are walking out of doctors' offices with a prescription for drugs like Fosamax, unknowingly becoming potential victims of the drugs’ dangerous and sometimes life-changing side effects.
But this might hopefully change soon. During a recent courtroom trial, Merck’s Associate VP for Clinical Research finally acknowledged that no study ever showed evidence of fracture reduction benefits for non-osteoporotic patients taking Fosamax.
“In the recent bellwether trial of Scheinberg v. Merck & Co., Merck’s Associate Vice President for Clinical Research Dr. Arthur Santora revealed that Merck’s drug Fosamax does not have any evidence of fracture reduction benefit for patients without osteoporosis. In the label for Fosamax, Merck affirmatively indicates that Fosamax prevents fractures for patients [sic] for both osteoporosis patients and pre-osteoporosis patients (often called ‘osteopenia patients’).
Dr. Santora’s trial testimony reveals that Fosamax does not, however, prevent fractures the [sic] patients without osteoporosis. Under examination by Levin, Papantonio shareholder Timothy O’Brien, Dr. Santora admitted that there was no evidence of fracture reduction benefit for those patients without osteoporosis:
Q: It’s my understanding, Dr. Santora, based on the clinical trial evidence that Merck had and presented to the FDA, Merck cannot say that for those patients without osteoporosis that the use of Fosamax prevents fractures, right?
A: That’s correct, it doesn’t – – what you said is correct.
Q: Because there’s no evidence that it does, right?
A: That’s another way of saying the same thing, that’s correct.
Q: And in terms of Fosamax, the bottom line for efficacy of Fosamax is fracture reduction, right?
A: That’s what is important to patients and physicians.”2
So if there’s no evidence that Fosamax works, how did the drug get approved? This just shows how Big Pharma operates: while the FDA looks the other way, they keep quiet about a problem that might hurt their profits. It seems as though the fox is guarding the chicken coop…
Alarming! Scientists Consider Using a Dangerous Toxin to “Cure” Osteopenia
My regular readers already know that osteoporosis is not a disease. Rather, it’s the body’s response to a biochemical imbalance. So if osteoporosis is not a disease, then logically, its invented precursor osteopenia is even less so!
In fact, osteopenia is even more of a fabricated condition than osteoporosis. It’s basically a way to describe low bone density that isn’t low enough to qualify as osteoporosis. There’s no evidence that osteopenia leads to osteoporosis; nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, doctors prescribe the same drugs for osteopenia as they do for osteoporosis, presumably to stop osteoporosis from developing.
Believe it or not, scientists are now trying to use fluoride to “treat” osteopenia.
“Savers” know that fluoride causes brittle bones and a slew of other detriments to health. Yet led by the incorrect notion that fluoride reduces fracture risk, researchers set out to study the effect of fluoride tablets on bones.
“In this new trial, researchers led by Dr. Andrew Grey, MD, MB, ChB, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, and an Endocrinologist at Auckland Hospital, examined the skeletal effects of low doses of fluoride.
In this double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized trial over one year, 180 women postmenopausal women with osteopenia were recruited between June 2009 and March 2010, were at least five years past menopause.
The women were given daily doses of either of tablets containing placebo, 2.5mg fluoride, 5mg fluoride or 10mg fluoride.
The results revealed the primary endpoint was change in lumbar spine BMD at 1 year, secondary endpoints were hip and forearm BMD, and markers of bone turnover.
In comparison to the placebo, none of the doses of fluoride changed bone mineral density (BMD) at any site. On the other hand, the low doses of fluoride did appear to ‘weakly activate bone remodeling,’ with significant changes in at least one marker of bone formation.
Levels of procollagen type-I N-terminal propeptide (P1NP), the preferred marker for bone formation did increase significantly with low doses of fluoride 5mg and 10mg compared to a placebo.
No difference were seen between the placebo group and any of the fluoride groups on Beta C-terminal telopeptide (β-CTX), a specific resorption marker for degradation of bone type I collagen by osteoclasts.
No fractures were reported in the placebo group, one metatarsal fracture in the 2.5-mg fluoride group (metatarsal is the long bones in the forefoot), two fractures in the 5-mg group (one in the ankle and one in the calcaneus, heel bone) and two fractures in the 10-mg group (one in the rib and one in the humerus, is a long bone in the arm or forelimb that runs from the shoulder to the elbow).
In their conclusion the researchers write ‘Low dose fluoride does not induce substantial effects on surrogates of skeletal health, and is unlikely to be an effective therapy for osteoporosis.’”3,4
It’s bad enough that osteopenia is looked upon as a “disease” that must be “cured”; but turning to a dangerous toxin to “treat” it surely takes the cake!
Isn’t it good to know that thanks to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program you don’t need to play along with Big Pharma’s games? And if you don’t have the Program yet, you can try it risk-free with my one full year no-questions-asked double your money back guarantee.
Till next time,
1 Larson, Erik. “Merck Knew of Fosamax Bone Risk in ’90, Lawyer Tells Jury.” Bloomberg. April 9, 2013. Web. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-09/merck-trial-begins-on-claim-fosamax-causes-bone-breaks.html
2 Cousins, Farron. “Merck Vice President Reveals: Fosamax Has No Fracture Reduction Benefit For Many Patients.” Ring of Fire. February 19, 2013. Web. https://www.ringoffireradio.com/2013/02/19/merck-vice-president-reveals-fosamax-has-no-fracture-reduction-benefit-for-many-patients/
3 Nicholson, Debbie. “Fluoride fails as osteopenia treatment.” All Voices. April 12, 2013. Web. https://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/14402446-fluoride-fails-as-osteopenia-treatment
4 Grey, Andrew, et al. “Low dose fluoride in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. April 3, 2013, doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-4062. Web. https://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/04/03/jc.2012-4062.abstract
Comments on this article are closed.
Thank You VERY MUCH For This VERY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE On How Merck Ignored Warning About Fosamax Side Effects.
This Drug As We Found Out Does NOT CURE Osteopenia, AND IF LEFT UNTREATED, LEADS TO OSTEOPOROSIS!
I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST,
LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)
Thank you for all your wonderful work and generous advice.
I have a serious admission to make. For over 12 months I followed your S O B Programme rather half heartedly, it being so easy to deflect from it at the slightest inconvenience. In spite of this I was shocked when my second DEXA scan in 3 years showed a deterioration.
I am now fully committed to your dietry programme and have started enjoying Densersising too. I also really keep up to date with your wonderful emails.
I would like to ask whether there would be any harm in doing the Densersise more frequently than three times a week?
Also Vivian, have you ever offered any research or oppinion on weight to hight ratio on bone density? I am 72 years old and for most of my life have been rather slender (but not skinny)for my height of 5´1″. I have a 35 year old daughter of very similar body type and and a 41 year old daughter who is considerably overweight. I would like to be able to offer them some advice on keeping their bones strong.
I took Actonal also. Not every prescription a Dr. Gives us needs to be filled. It didn’t take long before I began suffering from terrible acid reflux. I was one of the lucky ones because it made me quit the drug. Instead I upped the amount of D3, added K2 and yogurt and magnesium to my daily routine, fresh fruits, nuts and I feel a whole lot better not worrying about what a drug is really doing to my body without my really knowing. Big whew!
Rosemary, these are wise words you typed up there: “Not every prescription a Dr. gives us needs to be filled.” So true! I applaud you for giving up the Actonel and experiencing relief. I wish you success! 🙂
I am not taking Actonel or the two calcium tablets prescribed by my doctor and am trying to follow “Save our bones” as much as possible but wonder if eventually I will have to succumb to these drugs or suffer the result of not following my doctor’s advice.The last bone scan showed I was -3.9 and I can’t get another bone scan for another 2 years so I can’t monitor my bone health for some time.What is your advice.
I have the same the problem, but my doctor wants me to
take a new drug called FORTEO. It’s a shot everyday that you give to yourself. I’m not a happy camper with this, so I’m trying the Save our bones program & hope it helps.
Are there any other UK people out there to liaise with about products
etc available in the UK??
Several years ago, when I told my doctor I was not going to take Fosamax any more, he said, “That is your prerogative, but as your doctor I need to tell you I think you should continue taking it.” I told him that was my decision, and I would accept any repercussions. To shorten the story, I started following Save My Bones, and the next bone scan I had, my bones had increased significantly. My doctor was amazed. By the way, I am 81 years old.
PLEASE tell me how I can order the allergy pill you and another doctor developed. I have lost the information on it, and I want to order some.
I’m so proud of you, Barbara! As all “Savers” do, you stand by your beliefs and ditched the Fosamax… Now your bones are strong, and your doctor is “amazed”. Also, the fact that you’re 81 years old young, is further proof that the Program works regardless of age. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
And here’s the info you’ve requested:
Vivian, you are a wonderful help through the minefield of drugs. What is your opinion on the use of a six-monthly injection by syringe of Prolia? It seems to be the latest on the scene in medical treatment of osteoporosis.
Regards from South Australia.
Hi Helen! I wrote a review of Prolia a little while ago – you might like to read it. 🙂 Here is a link:
What do do if I have kidney stones–passed a large painful one.
Don’t do dairy, but allthe healthy foods like spinach, things that are bone healthy are causing stones. Also afraid to take the healthy plant sourced calcium fear of forming more stones.
What do you suggest?
Cytra-K Crystals or Polycytra ,for stones.
My husband had once a year a new kidney stone from 1966
to 1982 when he went to Mayo clinic and he started the
polycytra.He never had another colic since then.
The doctors in Illinois did not know about it.
It is Potassium Citrate Monohydrate and Citric Acid Monohydrate.Good luck.
In January I ordered one of your books but I cannot remember the name of it. It said I could download it free but I wanted the book to refer to also there was a CD for exercises to do. The only thing that shows up on my credit card statement is Save Our Wellness. Hollywood FL I paid $27.00 and I have never received anything. Would you please check into this for me as I would really like to receive the material as I have paid my credit card bill but still haven’t received the material. Thanks for your help.
what about hormone replacement therapy to prevent bone loss? Do natural hormones work?
I am just moving back to the UK from Australia. I have already booked to go and see Dr. M. Gluck who has a practice in London. She has thirty years of experience of prescribing Bio-identical hormones, (natural and made from wild yams. She is recently written a book called “It must be my hormones” and has in her years of practice demonstrated that women who take these hormones get an improvement in their bone density. Good luck. Carolyn
I am one of those believers that DIET does work. When I first met Vivian I was sure my life was over. Well Not true. I had been diagnosed with severe Osteoporosis. My bone scores were —and counting down. I was given five different samples of Fosamax & similar type drugs to treat my problem. I refused drugs. I began good Nutrition and continued my walking per Vivian. I got five copies of SaveOurBones from Vivian and gave them to all my family and friends. It works if you work it because one year later my bone density had improved drastically. My doctor was amazed. But when I told him I didn’t take the drugs he was confused. “Then what did you take, asked he???” I took good advice and a good diet from my nutritionist. He said “I’m impressed keep doing what you are doing. You have improved in all areas of your bone health. Thanks Vivian for your help.
Thank you so much for sharing your success story with the community, Joyce! It lifts everyone’s spirits to hear of this kind of experience, and it’s just what the Program is about! 🙂
Dear Vivian, I have been following your program for over a year now but my bone density results were no better.
My GP ran a test on my paratyroid funtion and found that the paratyroid hormones were elevated which means that the calcium balance is upset. GP thinks I may have an adenoma. This condition is one of the causes of osteoporosis.
When we are in Florida we have access to reverse osmosis water, 25c a gallon. Back up north we have been using distilled water. I have heard never to drink distilled water as it is “corrosive”. True?????
I have been on the Paleo diet for almost 1 year in an attempt to stop the decline of my bone density. Is this a good method to increase bone denisity? or am I just wasting my time and energy?
Why are you recommending vitamin C which is an acid?
I’m glad you asked! Vitamin C is crucial to your bones, Sheila, and for that reason it’s also a Foundation Supplement. You can read more about it here: https://saveourbones.com/how-much-vitamin-c-should-you-take-for-your-bones/
I bought your program and am following a large part of it also your emails
one thing that always bothers me is that no matter who it is that sells
things on the internet, once they have you listening they start to sell
stuff for other people, the more i read your emails and the more things
you peddle for other people, do you get paid or is it truly concern for
your subscribers, i dont expect you to answer this just wanted to give you my feelings on where i thnk your subscription is going
Thank you for your feedback! At this point, we have no way of tailoring your emails so you don’t receive any sales messages. I hope you can simply ignore the sales messages in some of our emails and enjoy the informative content. 🙂 You can also choose to unsubscribe from the mailing list and just go to our website when you choose to read the new articles.
I have noticed the same thing as this person has.
I know I said that within the last 4 years, but never saw a comment from Vivian. I do not know if I am on the right tract. I have moved into a retirement home & I think I ordered Save our Bones, but moving from a 3
story house to a 1 bedroom apartment, some things were lost. Could you check your records please. I do read all the emails.
Is Fosavance the same as Fosamax?
It’s the same drug, Adele – the only difference is that Fosavance has Vitamin D added. 🙂
On Actonelfor 2 or 3 years, fractured T10 of my spine. The doctor switched
me to Fosamax for 4 years, T12 burst. Since then I have been in a TSLO
brace every day for last 7 years. A Spine clinic told me to go home & not
come back, they could not help me. I have lost about 7 inches from age 72
to 83. I eat walnuts, blueberries, craisins, bananas & 1/2 apple everyday.
Walk between 1/3 of a mile & 1 1/2 mile per day. After Fosamax I took
Forteo for 8 months, made the calcium in my blood rise, stopped for 6 months, took again for 4 months then stopped again. I do not take anything
now. I feel better, but am still shrinking. Any suggestions?
Your article prompted me to get a move on and do something about taking supplements. I have your book and try to follow your exercise and dietry advice but have been hesitant to embark on taking any supplements, other than my food based multi vit and mineral.However a few days ago I received an email about a product called BONEBLAST which, as the calcium used is derived from algae, I have been tempted to try …. so I just looked at your recommendations in terms of ratio of CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, VIT D3, and K2(the four major ingredients of BONEBLST) and see that they differ sustantially. So once again I hesitate ….. I’m wondering ….. are the ratios of these supplements “set in stone” or is there room for variations …. or in fact have ideas changed since you published your book ? I would be very grateful for clarification on this matter …. Thanks Lynda
(1) I stopped taking Fosamax a few years ago after I first read what Vivian highlighted with regards to its dangers, the bone fractures bit as the second reason, but the first was the jaw necrosis that was frightening. My doctor, knowing about my knowledge in health issue in general and my diet+supplements that is keeping my ankylosing spondylitis under control without the need of the terrible drugs, agreed with me straight away when I told him I was going to stop Fosamax; but I have to add that he agreed with me about the necrosis side effects that I learned from Vivian. But imagine the thousands and thousands of people who don’t know and who believe that doctors know best.
(2) Looking forward to your reply – dear Vivian – to Denise’s enquiry above.
Ghassan, you are an excellent example of someone who is not afraid to take charge of their own health. Thanks for encouraging the community!
I started taking Fosamax July 2010 and stop using the drug in September 2012 – how long does it take for the drug to be completely removed from my body?
Hi Denise! I commend you for taking that important step toward your bone health. 🙂
As to how long Fosamax will stay in your system, it’s hard to say definitely. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, the half-life of bisphosphonates is approximately 10 years, meaning that it takes 10 years for the body to get rid of half of the drug that attached itself to bone. As you know, these drugs stop normal bone metabolism, namely bone remodeling, but as it gets released and less is attached to bone, normal bone remodeling resumes at one point. The question, of course, is when this will happen for YOU! As with everything else in the human body, this varies with each individual. According to a Harvard Medical School study (also mentioned in the book), pre-drug bone metabolism is restored to “normal” levels in an average of five (5) years.
Have faith in your body’s ability to heal itself! When you treat it right (as you are now), it can heal itself and cells do regenerate. 🙂
I live in the UK and I am glad I found this site. I was prescribed a bisphosphonate drug for osteopenia. I’m 61 and I am taking 5mg of prednisolone for Lupus. Having read a lot about these drugs, I refused to take it, but that hasn’t stopped doctors from putting a lot of pressure on me, saying I could have a fracture and end up in wheelchair.