Valerie was in her 20s when her doctor advised her to take the drug for - what she thought at the time - was a bad case of acne. “Looking at my photographs from 15 years ago, my skin condition wasn’t even that severe,” she says. “How I regret the day that I let my doctor talk me into putting this medication inside my body. Back then I believed in doctors and I didn’t bother doing any research. Even though I was working in the health care field, it is so vast, and I wasn’t working with pharmaceuticals, but it makes you realize how difficult it is for your family doctor to keep abreast of drug warnings and contra-indications. At the same time, you are paying them thousands of dollars to take care of your health…”
Valerie only took Accutane for six months but she cannot link anything else to the onset of bowel problems. She hasn’t been diagnosed with Accutane Ulcerative Colitis but thinks it is just a matter of time before her condition becomes chronic.
“The main reason I want to get my story out is to say that doctors treat you without understanding the ramifications; they should tell their patients about potential side effects; they should take the time to talk to their patients,” Valerie says. “If my doctor only took five minutes to read about Accutane side effects and give me the option, even though I was probably vain in my 20s, I wasn’t naive.”
READ MORE ACCUTANE IBD LEGAL NEWS
By 2012, Roche had lost nine out of 13 suits brought by Accutane victims, one of which - Kathleen Rossitto v. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., ATL-l-7481-10-MT, New Jersey Superior Court, Atlantic County (Atlantic City) - resulted in a verdict of $18 million. The jurors determined that the Accutane maker failed to adequately warn Kathleen Rossitto and Riley Wilkinson that its drug could cause inflammatory bowel disease. Roche is appealing the decision.