Jury awards $18M in Accutane suit

August 15, 2012

Roche Holding was ordered by a New Jersey jury to pay $18 million in damages to two former users of the acne medicine it once produced, Accutane (isotretinoin).

Atlantic City, N.J. - Roche Holding was ordered by a New Jersey jury to pay $18 million in damages to two former users of the acne medicine it once produced, Accutane (isotretinoin).

The jury ruled that the Swiss firm did not properly warn users that Accutane could cause inflammatory bowel disease, Bloomberg News reports. The ruling went in favor of two people who were awarded $9 million in damages each. The jury rejected the claims of two other individuals who also filed suit.

“We are pleased that the jury found on behalf of Kathleen Rossitto and Riley Wilkinson and provided a measure of justice for the horrible injuries inflicted upon them by Roche’s drug,” Bloomberg News quotes David Buchanan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, as saying.

Accutane one time was Roche’s second highest-selling drug. The company opted to discontinue selling and distributing the medication in 2009.

“The company believes that the evidence at trial demonstrated that Accutane did not cause this disease and that Roche acted appropriately in providing information to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities,” Chris Vancheri, a spokesman for Roche, was quoted as saying in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News.

The company has said it will appeal the ruling.

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