Accutane Acne Medicine Pulled after Verdicts


Roche Holding AG has announced it is pulling Accutane acne medication from the shelves after two juries awarded around $33 million to users who said they developed inflammatory bowel disease from using it. Accutane was first made available in 1982 and some 13 million people have used it. At one point it was the second best-selling drug delivered by Roche. However, since the patent expired in 2002, several generic versions have been sold by rivals.

In November, a jury in New Jersey found Roche officials did not properly warn doctors of Accutane’s health risks and awarded three men a total of almost $13 million.

Though Accutane is available through several other companies, Roche still faces nearly 5000 personal injury claims over the drug. So far, Roche has lost six cases that have gone to trial involving Accutane. Claimants have said that in addition to inflammatory bowel disease, Accutane may also be linked to birth defects and depression. A man is currently on trial in Pennsylvania for the 2005 murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend he claims was caused by an Accutane induced depression. After stabbing his girlfriend to death, the man then slit his own throat.

In addition to pulling Accutane from the shelves in the U.S., it has been pulled in 11 other countries, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and Spain.

If you are currently taking Accutane, contact your physician to discuss the health risks of this defective drug.