February 16, 2010—Andrew McCarrell was in his twenties when he was prescribed Accutane for treatment of acne. Shortly after he started taking the drug, he was diagnosed with a severe case of inflammatory bowel disease. The condition resulted in five surgeries and his doctors were forced to remove his colon.
McCarrell filed a lawsuit against Roche Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Accutane, alleging that it was negligent and failed to warn of serious side effects, including inflammatory bowel disease. A jury in New Jersey agreed, awarding McCarrell more than $25 million in damages for his injuries. In doing so, the jury found that Roche Pharmeceuticals failed to warn patients and doctors of the risks and side effects of Accutane.
Unfortunately, McCarrell's experience is common of Accutane patients. Roche Pharmaceuticals is facing more than one thousand lawsuits brought by former users of the acne drug, each with injuries they attribute to their use of Accutane.
Several lawsuits have gone to trial, and in each the jury returned a verdict in favor of the injured person and awarding damages against Roche Pharmaceuticals. In total, juries have awarded more than $56 million to people harmed by Accutane.