“The gold standard of treatment for severe acne has been Accutane, a powerful prescription drug also used in chemotherapy for brain and other cancers. It is associated with serious side effects, including birth defects and bowel inflammation.”
In May 2007, a jury awarded $2.6M to Andrew McCarrell, who suffered more than mere bowel inflammation after taking the drug Accutane, and ended up having his colon removed.
At the time McCarrell began his treatment, 5 million patients had taken Roche’s Accutane. The May 2007 verdict was reversed on appeal because Roche was precluded from getting this fact before the jury. By 2009, over 13 million patients had been treated with Accutane since it was released in 1982, and even more have taken Accutane’s generic equivalent, Isotretinoin, after Roche’s Accutane patent expired in February, 2002.
Isotretinoin, which was originally developed for chemotherapy, causes birth defects. Some studies indicate a connection between Isotretinoin and depression, bowel inflammation, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colinitis.