The diagnosis of osteoporosis is devastating enough; imagine the horror in finding that the medication you took to combat your illness caused irreparable harm to your jaw and teeth. That’s what happened for many users of the drug Aredia, manufactured by Novartis.
Aredia, a bisophosphonate, has been clearly shown to cause a bone-related disease in some users called osteonecrosis of the jaw, or ONJ for short. ONJ breaks down the bone of the jaw, and discourages the bone’s ability to heal itself. Therefore, any exposed jaw bone (such as might happen during routine dental work) eventually dies and must be removed surgically. Additionally, the ONJ patients’ teeth begin to fall out, as the jaw bone can no longer support them.
For Aredia users, the development of ONJ has been a terrible blow. Not only are they now dealing with a new disorder, but they are also suffering from the embarrassment and emotional pain of disfigurement. And regardless of how many plastic surgeries they must undergo to reconstruct their jaws, ONJ will always render them “different.” In a society so appearance-driven, it’s crushing and affects relationships, careers, and, of course, self-esteem.
The realization of Novartis that Aredia could cause ONJ prompted them to send a letter (in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to health care professionals. The 2004 release warned physicians and pharmacists, among others, of the connection between Aredia and ONJ in some patients. However, this public alert happened too late for many persons who had already been diagnosed with the devastating side effect.
Not surprisingly, many Aredia users came together to form class action lawsuits against Novartis. Though they couldn’t reverse the ONJ damage, they felt they could make Novartis pay for the pain and suffering they endured and would continue to endure.
If you or someone you love has used the drug Aredia and, afterwards, been diagnosed with ONJ, we want to hear from you. Contact our office toll-free or via email today. We’ll then set up a no-obligation consultation with one of our legal professionals to discuss the specifics of your case. Remember: you don’t have to be a victim any longer. Let’s send a message to Novartis together.