Being blinded by science is something of a preoccupation these days and so less than a year after dueling studies reached differing conclusions that oral bisphosphonates are linked to esophageal cancer, the FDA has weighed in and - for now - declared that no such risk exists. However, the agency cautiously noted no risk was found "at this time" and its review is ongoing.
In reaching its preliminary decision, the FDA reviewed two epidemiologic studies - one reviewed the UK General Practice Research Database and found no increase in the risk of esophageal cancer (see this). The second study found a doubling of the risk among patients who had 10 or more prescriptions of the drugs, or who had taken the drugs over three years (read more here and here).
The drugs, by the way, are used to reduce the risk of serious fractures in people with osteoporosis. Which drugs are we talking about? Merck's Fosamax, Warner-Chilcott's Actonel and Atelvia, and Roche's Boniva, among others. Fosamax has also been linked to osteonecrosis, which is damage to the jawbone, and Merck has been enmeshed in litigation (read here).