There have been a lot more personal injury lawyers airing commercials about Accutane being linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This perked my interest so I hopped online to find out what was going on. There are quite a few lawyers out there offering their services for pursuing legal action against Roche Holdings(creator of Accutane). Some of these lawyers though are incorrectly stating that Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease(Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis) are the same thing. They are not & Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not what these lawsuits are about.
Accutane has been studied for possible links to Inflammatory Bowel Disease as far back as 2001. Also non-public internal documents from Roche Holdings suggests that Accutane damages the intestinal tract & that physicians who were prescribing Accutane also noted a higher risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Accutane was “discontinued” by Roche Holdings in 2009, though the generic form is still available under the name Isotretinoin. Roche Holdings claims removing Accutane from market was not due to the lawsuits or concerns over safety.
Accutane has always been a very powerful substance. Even before this link to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Accutane had warnings for women who were pregnant since it can cause birth defects. It has also been indicated as a cause of depression.
The first Accutane lawsuit ended in 2007. The lawsuit found Roche Holdings liable for failing to label the drug correctly & awarded plaintiff Andrew McCarrell $2.62 million dollars. Roche Holdings appealed this judgement & the case was re-tried in 2010. The re-trial ended and again with Roche holdings found liable, but this time Mr. McCarrel was awarded over $25 million dollars.
Since 2007 then there have been other lawsuits that have come to completion & the outlook is not looking good for Roche Holdings. Although one judgment was overturned on appeal, there are hundreds more lawsuits on the way.
Most of the people who have won awards have been severely affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease, needing parts of their lower digestive tract removed. Due to the large quantity of people who are filing for lawsuits, I am wondering if this may turn into a class action lawsuit, though the award settlements usually amounts to far less when dealing with class-action style lawsuits.
Are you someone who is pursuing legal action against Roche Holdings or are you a lawyer representing something who is? Please comment below and let us know your story.