Merck's Fosamax and Procter & Gamble's Actonel stop bone deterioration and increase density, but the firms differ on the importance of density in predicting whether bones will or will not break as easily as without the drugs. The Wall Street Journal reports Merck is expected to announce trial results this week that analysts predict will show Fosamax increases bone density more than Actonel. P&G markets Actonel in cooperation with Aventis and insists increased bone density does not necessarily reduce the risk of fractures.

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