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Stein voices support for state’s ability to sue Fosamax-makers

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed an amicus brief Nov. 21 in support of a suit against a pharmaceutical company which he said should be held liable under state laws for misleading consumers about their product.

The brief was filed in support of the plaintiff’s side in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht, which is currently in the U.S. Supreme Court, Stein said in a news release. Merck is the maker of Fosamax, a prescription drug commonly used to treat osteoporosis.

There are currently hundreds of lawsuits pending against the company which allege it didn’t warn consumers about the drug’s potential to cause users to suffer from a specific type of fracture. Merck said because the FDA didn’t approve a warning label for the risk of fractures, it is not liable under state law.

In the brief, Stein argues that should the court side with Merck, it will limit states’ ability to take legal action against drug makers who misrepresent their products and that Merck can be held liable under state law, even if found not liable under federal law.

Stein was joined by 22 other state attorneys general in filing the brief.

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