Accutane, an acne remedy, is a synthesized form of vitamin A that is used to treat severe types of acne that at times can cause scarring. It is the subject of widespread litigation since there is a long list of side effects which include birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, and even suicide, which has led to numerous Accutane Lawsuits.
The manufacturer of Accutane, U.S. based Hoffman La Roche, is a smaller part of an international corporation called ‘The La Roche Group.’ This group has affiliates in 150 countries and is calculated to be the seventh largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Accutane is one of their top sellers and it is estimated that it brings in annual sales of over $1.2 billion. It is also one of three drugs on the market that has the most adverse reports of side effects and is now involved in extensive litigation of Accutane Lawsuits.
Accutane, also called isotretinoin, is an oral medication used for the treatment of serious acne in patients who have not found success with other treatments. It is a strong medication and was originally used as a chemotherapy agent to treat cancer patients. It was noted by researchers that it also treated red pimples, whiteheads and blackheads that are related to acne.
There have been an estimated 5,000 personal injury lawsuits filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals for inadequately warning patients of the risk of problems connected to the medication. Mainly there is a risk to the bowels where an inflammatory bowel disease has led to numerous problems including the removal of the colon. Additional Accutane Lawsuits have been filed because of the increased risk of psychiatric side effects, suicidal thoughts and further gastrointestinal disorders.
While the FDA did not initiate an Accutane recall , during the month of June in 2009, Roche Pharmaceuticals pulled Accutane from the U.S. market. They cited reduced sales because of competition from generic drugs as the main reason for removing the drug, but at the time they were faced with a number of lawsuits claiming the company failed to give proper warnings about the possible dangers of the medication. February 2010 was when the manufacturer had to pay more than $25 million to a man who had inflammatory bowel disease a few years after he used the medicine. This is one of many Accutane Lawsuits the pharmaceutical company has been faced with.
It must also be noted that Roche Pharmaceuticals has appealed a number of judgments, and indeed, intends to appeal all judgments associated with injury caused for inflammatory bowel disease claiming the link between this disease and Accutane has not been proven. They have also stated that they have had a warning on their product label for this condition for over twenty years.
Almost all the suits filed against the pharmaceutical company deal with the fact that there were no proper warnings on the labels for potential side effects when using Accutane. Roche Pharmaceuticals lost the first six cases tried in court with settlements reaching slightly over $56 million. At any given time there are usually around 1,000 Accutane Lawsuits pending in federal and state courts across the country.