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Merck faces Canadian suit over Fosamax

CHICAGO -- Merck & Co., the drug maker defending about 27,000 lawsuits filed by users of the painkiller Vioxx, was accused in a Canadian lawsuit of failing to warn consumers its bone drug Fosamax may damage jaw bones, a law firm said.

The Canadian law firm Siskinds said yesterday that it filed the first complaint over the drug in Canada. The lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court seeks class-action status on behalf of the drug's users, said Michael Peerless, a partner at the firm.

Merck, the fourth-biggest US drug maker, has already been sued in US courts over the risks associated with Fosamax, and at least 19 lawsuits were transferred last year to a judge in New York.

Merck spokesman Chris Loder did not immediately respond to an e-mail and telephone request for comment after business hours.