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Hoffman La Roche recalls Accutane, the acne drug
On June 2009, Hoffman La Roche issued a recall on Accutane, citing the cost of defending Accutane injury suits as a factor in the decision. Accutane, generically referred to as Isotretinoin, is a synthetic form of Vitamin A. Many people trusted the drug to treat their acne, but suffered serious Accutane side effects such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Hoffman La Roche Knew of Accutane’s Dangerous Side Effects
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982, Accutane has been used by more than 16 million people worldwide. The final date for the distribution of Accutane was June 25th, 2009 (About.com). Eleven other countries also removed Accutane from their markets.
By the time Accutane was recalled in the U.S., La Roche was facing nearly 5,000 lawsuits involving the drug. La Roche has reportedly lost $56 million in court cases filed by former Accutane users. The company was well aware that their product was defective, and knowingly hid that fact from physicians.
Accutane side effects are illnesses themselves
All too often, the side effects associated with Accutane are far worse than the original afflication. Below are three common illnesses that have been linked to the drug.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, accompanied by ulcers on the lining of the large intestine and rectum. Signs of UC are similar to Crohn’s disease and include abdominal pain and diarrhea. Treatment is available, though there is no known cure for UC. A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, found that Accutane quadruples the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition involving the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The inflammation leads to ulcers and bleeding.
Steroids are often prescribed by medical professionals to treat inflammatory bowel disease, because they can refuse inflammation. When steroids are not effective, surgery may be necessary.
Crohn’s disease is disease that involves the inflammation of the digestive tract. A debilitating condition, Crohn’s disease is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe diarrhea
- Weight loss
Crohn’s disease is treatable, but there is no known cure.
Additional Side Effects of Accutane
- blurred vision
- slow or difficult speech
- weakness or numbness of one part or side of the body
- new or worsening heartburn
- rectal bleeding
- back, bone, joint or muscle pain
- muscle weakness
- ringing in the ears
- frequent urination
(National Center forBiotechnology Information)
Pregnancy, Birth Defects and iPLEDGE
Accutane use during pregnancy poses an exceptionally high risk of serious birth defects, both physical and mental. The FDA created iPledge, which was established to encourage pregnant women not to take Accutane, or any other drug containing isotretinoin.
Real life terror for Accutane users
Andrew McCarrell and 17 year-old Zachary MacLoed had to sacrifice their comfort and well-being after taking Accutane. Both males suffered a great deal of pain and discomfort as a result of side-effects from prolonged Accutane usage. Mr. McCarrell had to have his colon removed and Mr. MacLoed was forced to withdraw from high school.
-HuffingtonPost - 07/28//2010
A New Jersey jury hit the pharmaceutical company (Hoffman LaRoche) that makes Accutane with a $25.16 million judgment in a lawsuit filed by an Alabama man who blamed the drug for his inflammatory bowel disorder. 38 year-old Andrew McCarrell of Moody, Ala., took the acne drug in his 20s, and says Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. failed to adequately warn of its side effects. He eventually had his colon removed. The compensatory damages award came in a retrial.
-WFTV.com News - 02/15/2010
The family of Zachary MacLoed in Apopka, Florida, is in the process of suing Hoffman LaRoche, the manufacturer of Accutane. Prescribed for the treatment of acne, Accutane has been at the center of controversy (as well as countless litigations), because of its potentially fatal side effects.
Seventeen year old Zachary MacLoed tried a number of acne treating drugs, none of which were effective. Several months after his doctor prescribed Accutane, Zachary experienced abnormally frequent bowel movements.
“I have to go to the bathroom much more frequently,” he says. “I can’t stay away from it the entire day, sometimes.”
Zachary’s condition is known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The pain he experiences is so severe and debilitating, that he must be home schooled.
Zachary’s case appears to be a type of medical malpractice, because although his doctor told him Accutane was linked to severe depression, birth defects and suicide, Zachary was never told about IBD.
“If I knew about IBD, I would have probably thought twice before taking the drug,” he reveals. “It has completely changed my life.”
An Accutane spokesperson says that Hoffman LaRoche “is currently defending more than 600 claims for personal injuries due to Accutane, including IBD (WFTV). Hoffman LaRoche reports that it has been hit “with more than $33 million in damages,” (WFTV) because of the number of health problems it has caused.
If Your Accutane Use Resulted in Serious Health Problems, Weitz and Luxenberg Can Help
Serious medical conditions can result from the use of Accutane, some of which are life threatening. Aside from the pain and suffering illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease cause, the cost of treatment for these maladies can be exorbitant.
The attorneys at Weitz and Luxenberg are ready, willing and able to help you with your Accutane case. We have fought and won countless verdicts and settlements on behalf of people who suffered health complications from defective drugs and medical devices. For a free legal consultation, please fill out this form on this page and a Weitz and Luxenberg representative will contact you as soon as possible..
National Center for Biotechnology Information -www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Live Strong: http://www.livestrong.com/article/163873
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