Accutane Maker to Pay Millions to Three Made Ill by Drug


Three Florida residents were awarded $12.9 million by a New Jersey jury due to developing inflammatory bowel disease after taking the acne medication Accutane nearly a decade ago. The three patients, now in their mid- to late-20s, developed the disease shortly after they began taking the drug.

The eight-person jury found that Hoffman La Roche, the pharmaceutical maker of Accutane, failed to provide adequate warning that development of IBD was a possibility. This is the latest plaintiff victory over Roche and Accutane. These wins have come in several states and have shown Accutane to be the cause of severe bowel problems, even after the plaintiffs had stopped taking the medication.

The three plaintiffs in this case all developed various illnesses, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, either while taking Accutane, or shortly after they stopped. One of the three will undergo surgery soon to remove his colon. The other two will require medication to manage their illnesses. And all three now have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

The illnesses of these three, and many other Accutane patients, could have been avoided since Roche first advised physicians about a link between the drug and IBD in 1984. However, Roche did little over the years of evidence that Accutane was in fact the cause of these illnesses to strengthen warnings to doctors and patients. The jury saw studies Roche never published that showed the by-products of Accutane damaged the gastrointestinal tract and played a part in eroding and degenerating the intestinal lining. These things are triggers for IBD. These studies also showed that literally hundreds of IBD sufferers were connected by Accutane use. The studies found that symptoms of IBD appeared with the use of the drug, began to subside when the patient stopped taking the drug, and then flared up again if the patient began taking Accutane again.

There are still nearly 600 Accutane cases around the country that Roche must deal with. However, they have not taken any steps to change the warning on their label.

If you or a loved one has developed IBD as a result of taking Accutane, please contact Personal to find an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney in your area.