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Accutane Victim: I Was Vain but Not Naive

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Boise, ID“Even if I don’t qualify for an Accutane lawsuit, I want to get the word out - do not take Accutane,” says Valerie.

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.”

Valerie is just one of about 16 million people who have taken Accutane since it was approved by the FDA in 1982. By the summer of 2012, Roche, the maker of Accutane, faced about 8,000 Accutane lawsuits in New Jersey state court, where the litigation had been centralized as part of a mass tort. (In 2009, Roche withdrew its brand-name version of Accutane from the market after juries awarded plaintiffs substantial damages over conditions such as Accutane Ulcerative Colitis, Accutane Crohns Disease and Accutane inflammatory bowel disease.)

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.

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READER COMMENTS

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on
Dear Jane,

I took accutane about 6 or 7 years ago. I have had a lot of stomach aches but no loose.. I also have a cough. It seems to be coming on gradually. Is this the case for you. I too wish I never took the drug. It happens after I eat, I also have some naseau sometimes. Is this the case for you? I regret taking they should never put on market. The biggest risk my doctor only stessed about was birth defects.
Rachel

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