On June 29, 2009, Hoffman-La Roche, the manufacturer of the popular acne drug Accutane, announced a nationwide Accutane recall.  When it announced the Accutane recall, the company cited generic competition and the growing costs of defending against Accutane lawsuits.  At the time of the Accutane recall, Roche had awarded over $33 million in lawsuits alleging that Accutane caused inflammatory bowel disease.  Since the June 2009 Accutane recall, the number of Accutane lawsuits has continued to rise.  Currently, the company is facing over 1,000 Accutane lawsuits linking the recalled Accutane to several severe side effects including inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, depression, suicide, and birth defects. To date, six jury verdicts have required Roche to pay almost $56 million in damages to victims harmed by the recalled Accutane drug. In addition to the United States Accutane recall, Roche has also conducted an Accutane recall in 11 additional countries, including France, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Norway and Spain.

Canadian Accutane Warning

Although Accutane is still available in Canada, Health Canada, which is the country’s department responsible for public health, recently issued an Accutane warning regarding a severe skin condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. The warning advises users to stop taking Accutane and contact a doctor if they experience any of the following:

  • Rash especially if associated with fever, malaise, or conjunctivitis
  • Blister’s on the legs or arms
  • Sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes
  • Peeling skin

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a life threatening disease where the skin separates from the body. The disease is caused by a severe reaction to medication or infection. Health Canada has received 66 reports of Accutane related cases of Steven-Johnson Syndrome in both adults and children worldwide.

Events Preceding the Accutane Recall

Accutane (also known as isotretinoin) was approved by the FDA in 1982 to treat severe acne. In the late eighties, reports began to surface linking Accutane to birth defects and suicide.  Since that time, Accutane has also been linked to problems in the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and pancreas, as well as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and auto-immune systems.  In 2004, Accutane was named by the FDA as one of the top five most dangerous prescription drugs available on the market. 

Accutane Lawsuits

If you or a loved one experienced a serious side effect associated with the recalled Accutane, such as inflammatory bowl disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, depression, suicide or birth defects, protect your right to a legal remedy.  Contact Bernstein Liebhard’s Accutane lawyers and schedule a no-cost Accutane lawsuit consultation. 

Published November 17, 2011 by