On Friday November 21, 2008, a New Jersey jury ruled in an Accutane Lawsuit that Roche Holding must pay $12.9 million to plaintiffs who blamed Accutane for their inflammatory bowel disease. This has been the company's fourth trial loss in these series of Accutane Lawsuits.
The jury stated that Accutane causes inflammatory bowel disease and Roche failed to properly warn physicians. Roche faces over 550 additional suits over it's drug Accutane. Roche still believes that there is no reliable evidence that Accutane actually causes IBD and also states that the label contains a warning about IBD that has been placed for over 20 years.
In the Accutane Lawsuit, Jordan Speisman, 27, won compensatory damages of $8.5 million and medical expenses of $142,500; Lance Sager, 28, damages of $2.5 million and medical costs of $125,000; and Kelly Mace, 25, damages of $1.5 million and medical expenses of $128,000.
The verdict yesterday means "the company should accept responsibility for the injuries they've caused to patients on this drug and the absence of a proper warning,'" the plaintiffs attorney said. Roche "should be well past denying that Accutane causes inflammatory bowel disease or that it failed to provide an adequate warning.'"
About 13 million people have taken Accutane since it went on the market in 1982. The medication was Roche's second-biggest selling drug before the patent expired in 2002 and rivals started selling generic versions. Along with bowel disease, Accutane has been linked to severe birth defects and depression.
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