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Accutane is an oral acne medication that has been linked to several psychological, auto-immune, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and central nervous system disorders. Patients who have taken Accutane and have suffered harm because of the side effects are entitled to seek compensation to offset medical bills, emotional distress and other issues arising from the defective drug.

If a victim dies as a result of a lethal accident or other health problem caused by a defective drug, the heirs of the victim can file a wrongful death claim. However, depending on the state in which the claim is filed, the time you have to file your lawsuit may be as little as two years. If you are considering filing a defective drug lawsuit, it is important that you seek immediate legal counsel.

Compensation for Accutane Side Effects

A successful lawsuit can help a victim recover compensation to cope with medical bills, lost income, lost opportunities, and pain and suffering. The potentially life-threatening side effects of Accutane can cost patients thousands of dollars in medical care and require them to take off time from their jobs to undergo treatment, which can severely affect their careers and social lives. Some patients who take Accutane develop chronic diseases that have no cure and remain with them throughout their lives, including lupus, diabetes and Crohn's disease. Accutane has also been linked to an increased risk of suicide.

Families of victims who died from Accutane side effects may be able to file survivor claims as a continuation of any personal injury claims the victim may have filed. In addition, they may be eligible to file a lawsuit with a wrongful death attorney seeking monetary awards for medical and funeral expenses, lost future financial aid and other damages.

The iPLEDGE Program

Patients can only obtain Accutane from pharmacies through a unique program called iPLEDGE, which aims to prevent pregnant women from receiving the drug, as well as discourage women from becoming pregnant while taking the drug. The program requires new patients to have a negative pregnancy test 30 days before the start of their Accutane prescription, as well as before each refill.

A replacement to the System to Manage Accutane Related Teratogenicity (SMART), the iPLEDGE program has been criticized by the healthcare community for many of its provisions, including mandatory compliance from males and non-child-bearing females.

Filing an Accutane Lawsuit

Accutane is intended to treat severe acne in patients who have limited success with topical treatments. A type of vitamin A, Accutane slows the amount of oil released by the glands in the skin, allowing skin cells to regenerate at a faster rate.


In June 2009, Hoffman-LaRoche, the manufacturer of Accutane, issued a recall of the drug following a court decision that awarded $33 million to victims. Hoffman-LaRoche has faced more than 5,000 personal injury claims since the drug's release to the market — a serious financial blow to the company's second-best-selling drug. Although patients are not able to receive Accutane directly from Hoffman-LaRoche, they can still obtain it from pharmacies under the iPLEDGE program (see sidebar).

The Food and Drug Administration has received 142 reports of suicide in Accutane users, and has been notified of the following serious side effects of the drug:

  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Birth defects
  • Central nervous system problems
  • Crohn's disease
  • Diabetes
  • Fetal death
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatoxicity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Psychological changes
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Ulcerative colitis

Many believe Hoffman-LaRoche failed to thoroughly test Accutane for side effects, and to warn consumers about the potentially deadly side effects of the drug. Victims have filed and successfully won personal injury and/or product liability lawsuits against Hoffman-LaRoche.

Eligibility for Accutane Limited

Accutane is one of the most potent and successful treatments for moderate to severe acne. More than half of all patients who take the drug experience a substantial reduction in acne, a statistic which has led many to claim Accutane is the best acne medication in the world. Because of its potential for serious side effects, Accutane prescriptions are reserved for patients with severe acne who have had limited luck with traditional acne treatments.

Defective Drug Attorneys

If you or someone you know has suffered harm because of Accutane, you may need to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Defective drug attorneys understand the components necessary to build a strong case against drug manufacturers; they can help you determine if expert testimony or other strategies may be needed.

In some cases injury lawyers recommend victims join a class action lawsuit, which may result in a settlement that reaches into hundreds of millions of dollars. To begin filing a claim against Accutane, contact a defective drug attorney.