A jury in Montana has ordered drug manufacturer Novartis to pay $3.2 million to a woman who developed osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)after taking Zometa. The case of Peggy Stevens was the first of its kind to go to trial.
In a case of tragic irony, Zometa is used to strengthen bones by treating high levels of calcium, brought on by cancer or multiple myeloma. Unfortunately, many users of Zometa have developed the rare condition known as ONJ which is a loss, or breakdown, of the jaw bone. ONJ is a serious condition which basically causes your jawbone to die.
Approximately 550 cases have been filed against Novartis for ONJ due to Zometa.
I’m so glad that the jury got this one right. The first trial for the related drug Fosamax ended in a mistrial last month when the jurors could not reach a consensus. ONJ is a terrible and debilitating condition and those who innocently took Zometa and Fosamax and now are suffering deserve compensation.