Accutane claims lead to compensation
  • Thu, 07/05/2012 - 10:30am

Jurors only deliberated six hours before forcing Roche Holding to pay a total of $18 million to two Accutane users who suffered inflammatory bowel disease as a result of taking the acne medication.

According to WebMD, inflammatory bowel disease is a collection of conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, in which the intestines become inflamed. People with IBD may suffer cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, and weight loss.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the jury found on behalf of Kathleen Rossitto and Riley Wilkinson because the Switzerland-based company failed to provide adequate warning that Accutane could cause inflammatory bowel disease.

According to Bloomberg, Roche is the world’s largest seller of cancer treatment drugs, but Accutane, which was introduced to the market in 1982, was the company’s second-biggest selling drug until 2009. Roche pulled the dangerous drug from the market in June of that year because “juries awarded millions of dollars in damages over bowel-disease claims.”

The same day that Rossitto and Wilkinson won their case, the jury rejected two others. Roche officials reportedly said they would appeal Rositto and Wilkinson’s verdicts. However, their lawyer told Bloomberg that “Roche has now lost nine of the 13 suits brought by former Accutane users that have gone to trial since juries began weighing the cases in April 2007.”

Though Roche Holding has lost the majority of those lawsuits, spokesmen for the company feel that Accutane is not the cause of inflammatory bowel disease.

“The company believes that the evidence at trial demonstrated that Accutane did not cause this disease and that Roche acted appropriately in providing information to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities,” Chris Vancheri, a U.S.-based spokesman for Roche, said in an e-mailed statement.

 

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