The New Jersey lawsuits were filed irrespective of whether the defendant is Hoffman-LaRoche, the manufacturer of Accutane, or makers of generic versions of the anti-acne drug, known as isotretinoin. According to Accutane attorneys, both the brand name and the generic drug have the same serious side effects, including Accutane inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease. In both Accutane and the generic version, attorneys allege that patients were made equally unaware of the dangerous risks of these injuries.
Judging from past settlements, current Accutane plaintiffs are likely optimistic of a good outcome. In 2010, an Alabama man was awarded more than $25 million after losing his colon, which was directly attributed to his taking Accutane. In 2007, Jason Peipert reached a settlement in his Accutane inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) lawsuit. And the same year in Florida, Adam Mason's suit reached a $7 million verdict. In April 2008, a New Jersey woman who developed IBD caused by the anti-acne med was awarded $10.5 million.
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Some experts opine that Roche and Ranbaxy only withdrew their products in the US rather than globally because taking it off the worldwide market would be seen as an admission of guilt that isotretinoin is not safe, which in turn would have harmed their defense against pending lawsuits. They also speculate that the withdrawal of Accutane and Sotret "is the beginning of the end" for isotretinoin anti-acne drugs worldwide.
Accutane mass tort Judge Carol. E Higbee tentatively scheduled the drug's trial dates for October 2011 and January 2012.