Quoted from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-09-23/novartis-hid-bone-drugs-risks-lawyer-tells-jury.html
Novartis Hid Bone Drugs’ Risks, Lawyer Tells JurySeptember 23, 2010, 2:39 PM EDT
By Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fisk
Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG officials hid the health risks of the drugmaker’s bone-strengthening medicines Aredia and Zometa, which a woman says destroyed her jaw, a lawyer told a New Jersey jury.
Novartis executives knew as early as 2002 that Jane Bessemer and other cancer patients taking Aredia and Zometa to slow bone loss during treatment may suffer irreplaceable jawbone damage, Bob Germany, a lawyer for the plaintiff, said in opening statements in the trial of Bessemer’s lawsuit over the medicines.
Bessemer and other patients wouldn’t have suffered disfiguring injuries if officials of Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis “had told the public what they knew” about the drugs’ risks, Germany told jurors in New Brunswick, New Jersey, today.
Bessemer’s suit is the second product-liability case to go to trial over the bone-strengthening treatments, which had 2009 sales of $1.5 billion, according to Novartis’ annual report. Both drugs are still on the market. Last year, a Montana jury ordered Novartis to pay $3.2 million in damages to a woman who blamed the drug for damaging her jaw.