Accutane Trial Over Inflammatory Bowel Disease Underway in New Jersey

Another trial is underway in New Jersey state court involving a plaintiff who allegedly suffered inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from Accutane, an acne medication sold by Roche. 

The Accutane lawsuit was filed by Priya Tanna, who was 15 when she started taking the medication. She now suffers debilitating bowel problems that were allegedly caused by side effects of Accutane.

Tanna accuses Roche of failing to adequately warn about the risks of taking Accutane. However, the drug maker argues that there was a 7-step warning process in place before Tanna was prescribed Accutane.

The case is one of about 6,000 Accutane bowel damage lawsuits that are consolidated 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 lawsuits, 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 nine Accutane trials 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.

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