Friday June 26th, 2009, Roche Holding AG, the maker of Accutane, announced that they were pulling the drug off the market. Accutane is a drug released in 1982 that is used to treat severe acne. Accutane has been linked to birth defectsin pregnant women, depression, suicidal tendencies, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and fever and may include weight loss.
In 2002, Roche began tracking the usage of accutane in pregnant women and found that 80% of the women elected to have abortions due to high rates of birth defects. In 2004, lawmakers attempted to take accutane off the market because of the increased rates of depression and suicidal tendencies.
Roche is faced with over 5,000 personal injury cases due to accutane. The company has been losing a series of lawsuits due to patients using accutane and suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recently, juries have awarded up to $33 million in damages across the US.
If you or anyone you know has suffered these side effects while taking Accutane, you may be entitled to recover compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Atkins and Markoff can help you.