Plaintiffs Claim Acne Drug Resulted in Irritable Bowels
More than 500 lawsuits against Accutane manufacturer Hoffmann-LaRoche have been dismissed after a New Jersey court ruled that the manufacturers provided fair warning over the potential side effects. Accutane is taken in pill form and helps prevent the buildup of oil in the skin that leads to nodular or cystic acne.
Over 500 plaintiffs argued that the drug caused them severe gastrointestinal problems including irritable bowel disease (IBS). The plaintiffs argued that the warning label wasn’t strong enough. The warning label said that Accutane is “associated” with IBS. The plaintiffs believe that the warning label should have said that the medication can cause IBS.
The lawsuit, had it been filed in another state, may have been allowed to go through. New Jersey offers broad protections to pharmaceutical companies. Even though the lawsuits were filed by people all over the U.S., Hoffmann-LaRoche is based in New Jersey, so that’s where the case was filed. We’ll take a look at the plaintiff’s loss in more detail below.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Product liability lawsuits are among the easiest to litigate. The plaintiff need not prove that the defendant was negligent, but only that, in the course of using the product as intended, they sustained some form of injury.
Drug companies, as part of the medical complex, do get some protection from certain states. This restricts the type of lawsuits that can be filed and raises the burden of proof on plaintiffs. Typically, drug lawsuits are filed under the legal theory of product liability, but states can pass restrictions on these lawsuits.
In a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that the product was either defectively designed, manufactured defectively, or the defendant failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the drug. In this case, the plaintiffs alleged a failure to adequately warn and lost.
Issues With Accutane
Accutane is prescribed as a last resort by doctors after other remedies have failed. Doctors are required to specify dosages that consider a patient’s weight, the severity of their acne, and other medical conditions or treatments that may interfere with Accutane.
Those who have severe gastrointestinal responses to the drugs are generally ordered to stop taking it. This is because gastrointestinal problems are linked with fatal pancreatic disease. Thus, the doctors should have cut the plaintiffs off of their medication. If they didn’t, then the liability falls on the doctor and not the pharmaceutical company.
Talk to a Tampa Pharmaceutical Liability Lawyer
Do you want to sue big pharma for causing your medical condition? If so, Palmer | Lopez can help prepare your case and take it to trial. Our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys have successfully resolved drug liability lawsuits and can help you get a fair settlement in yours. Call today to learn more.