On March 11, 2014, a New Jersey jury found that the Accutane manufacturer, Hoffman-LaRoche and Roche Laboratories, failed to provide Kamie Kendall Ries from Salt Lake City with adequate warning of the health risks. Reis was prescribed Accutane in 1998, when she was just 12 years old and later had her colon removed after developing ulcerative colitis.
More good news for colitis victims is that the jury found the failure of adequate warnings extended to 1998, when Ms. Ries was prescribed Accutane. Her attorney, David Buchanan, said that “Roche’s continued denials in the face of seven juries in New Jersey, and one in Florida, stating otherwise is a continuing insult to the many who have already suffered so much due to this drug," according to Reuters (March 11, 2014).
Roche intends to appeal the verdict. Buchanan said that plaintiffs (of which approximately 7,000 Accutane cases are pending in New Jersey and elsewhere) will seek to streamline the litigation through motion practice and trying more cases together in the future.
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Since the FDA approved Accutane to treat acne in 1982, countless individuals, many of whom were teenagers, developed inflammatory bowel disease that required surgeries and made their lives miserable.
Accutane was discontinued in 2009. Roche said its product was removed due to a low market share and the high cost of defending personal injury lawsuits by Accutane consumers. Accutane is still available in the UK and other countries, and the generic version of Isotretinoin is still available in the US.