As I indicated right before Christmas 2009, the NPR business journalists who looked into the way Merck marketed Fosamax® did a superb job of demystifying the complicated science surrounding the controversy.
Such an outstanding job, in fact, that the prestigious Scripps Howard Foundation has just this morning bestowed the Jack R. Howard Award upon Alix Spiegel, the NPR radio journalist who put it all together (snippet from businessjournalism.org):
. . . .This is the story of how pills for osteopenia ended up in [Katie] Benghauser’s medicine cabinet, and in the medicine cabinets of millions of women like her all over the United States. But more broadly, it’s the story of how the definition of what constitutes a disease evolves, and the role that drug companies can play in that evolution. . . .
As noted in the story, Merck pushed to create a machine that would allow more doctors’ offices to scan bones [in order to sell more Fosamax, to women who might only marginally be candidates to take the powerful drug]. . . .