Roche stops selling Accutane, can't compete with generics

July 7, 2009

Zurich, Switzerland - Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG has decided to stop selling Accutane (isotretinoin), as it has reached the end of its life cycle and cannot compete with generic alternatives, Reuters reports.

Zurich, Switzerland

- Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG has decided to stop selling Accutane (isotretinoin), as it has reached the end of its life cycle and cannot compete with generic alternatives, Reuters reports.

Generics for the medicine have been available since 2002, which now dominate the market, according to a Roche spokesperson, and Accutane’s market share was between 4 percent and 5 percent. The move was not done for safety or efficacy reasons, according to the company.

The last U.S. distribution date was June 25, and though Accutane will longer be available from Roche directly, patients still may be able to get it from pharmacies. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries and Mylan Inc will continue to sell generic versions, Reuters reports.

Roche indicated that it has been faced with high costs from personal injury lawsuits that it continues to aggressively defend against.