Accutane Side Effects Lawsuits Award $ Millions
Charles Pulikowski | December 30th, 2011 | Posted in Accutane Crohns Disease News
As of late 2011, more than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against Accutane and the drug’s manufacturer, Hoffman-Laroche. A medication to treat cystic acne, Accutane side effects are debilitating and life changing, and include Accutane Crohns disease, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis, among other gastrointestinal disorders. The drug’s risks are so severe that in 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled Accutane as one of the five most dangerous prescription drugs on the U.S. market.
Evolution of Accutane
In the 1960′s, scientists began studying a vitamin A derivative known 13-cis retinoic acid, or isotretinoin. Vitamin A had long been associated with reduced benefits to the skin, and the researchers were hoping to find a treatment for skin cancer. What they discovered was an effective acne treatment, especially for cystic acne. In 1979, Hoffman-LaRoche registered isotretinoin and in 1982, the FDA approved the medication for use. Later that year, the pharmaceutical company began selling Accutane.
Accutane Side Effects Emerge
Soon after Accutane became available, patients began reporting a variety of side effects. Among them, depression, suicidal tendencies and gastrointestinal disorders including Crohn’s disease. In response, the FDA ordered Hoffman-LaRoche in 1998 to add bold-faced warnings to Accutane, informing consumers of the psychological side effects associated with the drug.
Just four years later in 2002, Janet Woodcock, M.D., the Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, commented that the organization had received 23,000 reports of Accutane side effects. That same year, Hoffman-Roche’s Accutane patent expired, welcoming an influx of generic versions.
Accutane Lawsuits Begin
Just one year later, in 2003, Jason Peipert filed the first Accutane side effects lawsuit. He was gradually joined by thousands of others, including Andrew McCarrell. McCarrell began taking Accutane in 1995, and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1996. In 2007, a court awarded him $2 million in damages. Roche appealed the decision, and McCarrell went back to court. The second time around, he was awarded $25 million.
In 2009, in the face of increasing competition from generics and expensive Accutane lawsuits – and their resolutions – Hoffman-LaRoche ceased sale of Accutane. However, that saga continues: Between January and June 2011, the number of new Accutane lawsuits jumped 25% from the total filed in all of 2010.
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