Window to file an Accutane lawsuit may be running out for some patients

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

Patients who have developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other problems after taking the acne medication Accutane may be running out of time to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The statutes of limitations—which limit the time frame in which a lawsuit can be filed—are set to expire soon in many Accutane cases, making it imperative that patients who have considered taking legal action speak with a lawyer as soon as possible about their cases.

Accutane is prescribed to treat patients with severe acne. The drug was so successful that many doctors began prescribing the drug to patients with more moderate acne symptoms. It was only when Accutane prescriptions became widespread that health officials became aware of serious side effects that were occurring among patients who were taking the drug.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, patients taking Accutane were more likely to develop a number of serious gastrointestinal disorders, including IBD, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Researchers have also linked the use of Accutane to other side effects, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), erythema multiforme (EM), and severe birth defects. Roche, the manufacturer of the acne medication, issued an Accutane recall in 2009 because of the wide array of side effects linked to the drug.

So far, Roche’s track record in the Accutane lawsuits that have gone to trial has not been good. The company has lost seven lawsuits in New Jersey court, including one case involving a verdict of $25.16 million for a man who had to have his colon removed after developing IBD from Accutane. The company is facing about 1000 additional lawsuits filed by former patients who developed gastrointestinal problems or suffered other side effects from Accutane.