March 12, 2014 — Roche, the Swiss drug-maker behind Accutane, has been ordered to pay $1.5 million to Kamie Kendall, is a resident of Utah who was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to The Star-Ledger.
The judgement was awarded after Roche appealed a $10.5 million verdict from 2010, after an appeals court found that a judge improperly presented Roche from presenting evidence about how many people used Accutane — at least 16 million people since 1982.
According to Bloomberg News, Roche has lost 10 out of 13 lawsuits involving Accutane since April 2007.
Roche pulled brand-name Accutane off the market in 2009, following several multi-million dollar judgements against the company, including a $25.2 million judgement in favor of an Alabama man. By 2012, the company was facing approximately 8,000 lawsuits in a mass-tort in New Jersey — including two cases where a plaintiffs were awarded $18 million for bowel disease caused by Accutane.
The majority of plaintiffs allege that Accutane caused one of the following side effects:
- Birth defects — Accutane is now a “Pregnancy Category X” drug, which means that doctors should not prescribe it to pregnant women because the benefits of treating acne do not outweigh the risk to a fetus.
- Mental health problems — Including depression, psychosis, and violent behavior.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — Including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which can cause abdominal pain, bleeding, cramping, and diarrhea.