Monday, November 24, 2008

Roche ordered to pay $13M to users of acne drug

From the Associated Press:
A jury has ordered drugmaker Roche to pay nearly $13 million to three patients who claim they developed a chronic bowel disorder because of the company's acne drug Accutane.

Roche's U.S. subsidiary Hoffman-La Roche said it would appeal the verdict.

The money, handed down in New Jersey State Superior Court on Thursday, will be split among the three Florida residents, their attorneys said in a statement. All three began using Accutane a decade ago to treat teenage acne. One of the group is expected to soon have his colon surgically removed while the others will require long-term drug therapy, the attorneys said.

The award is the latest stemming from a wave of lawsuits that accuse Roche of downplaying a link between Accutane and inflammatory bowel disease, which afflicts about 1.4 million people in the U.S. and Canada.

Accutane's warning label notes that the drug is "associated with" chronic bowel problems, but the company has argued that there is no direct connection between its drug and the disease. ...more

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