Accutane, which was the brand name for the drug Isotretinoin sold by Roche, was at one time the leading prescription medication for severe acne. It has since been discontinued by Roche due to its severe side-effects such as depression, suicidal thoughts, and Crohn’s disease. Isotretinoin is still sold under other brand names such as Claravis, Sotret, and Amnesteem.
Millions of Americans were encouraged to purchase and use Accutane each year to treat severe acne. While the drug was successful at eliminating severe acne by eliminatine excessive oil production in the skin, eliminating clogged pores, and killing excess bacteria P., which can cause acne and inflammation, users were not warned about the potential dangerous side-effects of using isotretinoin (Accutane), especially if they were pregnant or were planning to become pregnant.
After several complaints were filed against Accutane, Roche began notifying users of the side-effects and worked with the FDA to create a program to protect women and their unborn children. This effort spawned a program called iPLEDGE, which only allowed doctors to prescribe isotretinoin to registered patients who were willing to meet very specific requirements. Unfortunately, the roll-out of iPledge occurred after many users had already suffered severe injuries. Other users also suffered severe disorders including bowl disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis. Less severe side-effects included nosebleeds, irritated eyes, depression, or suicidal impulses. Roche discontinued the marketing and selling of Accutane in 2009 but not before they made billions of dollars in profits.
Roche is a global BioPharma company who discovers, develops, and sells prescription medications to millions of patients around the world. Roche sells a variety of different types of medications including Avastin, CellCept, Fuzeon, CETMRA, Boniva, Herceptin, Invirase, Kytril, Lucentis, Pulmozyme, Tamiflue and Tarceva.
Roche marketed and sold Accutane in the United States from 1982 until 2009 when they discontinued its use due to high costs of lawsuits and the availability of isotretinoin sold under different brand names by other companies. Accutane was sold to an estimated 13 million patients before it discontinuation.
Companies which decide to manufacture, market, and sell medications have the legal responsibility to educate users about the possible severe side-effects of their medications. Users of Accutane argue that Roche failed in this responsibility by not notifying users of all of the side-effects of Accutane, specifically the increased risk of getting Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis. Other pregnant users argued Roche did not adequately notify them of the potential dangers to their unborn child, which can be very severe and can include birth defects such as intellectual disability, various brain malformations, heart defects, and facial abnormalities.
If you have taken Accutane and suffered any severe side-effects such as those listed above, of if your child suffered a life-threatening birth defect, including birth defects of the ear, eyes, face, skill, heart and brain you may be entitled to compensation. Although there have been about 5,000 Accutane lawsuits filed since 2009, many of the cases have been settled with the plaintiffs receiving compensation for their injuries. If you have questions about filing an Accutane lawsuit or about the statute of limitations for a case you need to talk to an Accutane lawyer. Most lawyers offer free legal consultations to anyone injured after taking Accutane.