A New Jersey product liability trial over claims that the acne medication Accutane caused a teen to suffer inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has resulted in a hung jury.
The Accutane trial, which concluded last week, was brought by the parents of Priya Tanna, who was 15 when she started taking the Roche medication to treat her acne.
However, Roche argued at trial that there was a 7-step warning process in place before Tanna began taking Accutane. Therefore, the drug maker argued that they are not liable for the injuries suffered.
As deliberations approached the Christmas holiday weekend, a New Jersey state court jury failed to come to an agreement on the claims, resulting in a hung jury.
The case is one of about 6,000 Accutane lawsuits that are currently pending in New Jersey state court before Judge Carol E. Higbee. All of the complaints involve similar allegations that plaintiffs developed inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other debilitating bowel injuries.
Accutane, known generically as isotretinoin, has been used by more than 16 million people worldwide since it was first introduced in the early 1980s as a treatment for severe acne.
Roche discontinued Accutane in June 2009 due to the increasing costs associated with the Accutane litigation, but a number of generic versions remain available under names such as Claravis, Sotret, Amnesteem and generic isotretinoin.
So far, plaintiffs have been successful in seven out of the first 10 Accutane bowel disease lawsuits that have been presented to a jury, with millions of dollars in damages from Accutane being awarded.
In April, a New Jersey jury awarded $2 million in compensation to a woman who developed ulcerative colitis from Accutane. However, the same jury declined to award damages to two other plaintiffs involved in the same trial.