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Warning of Risk is Unavailing to Drug Maker

News inferno reports that Kamie Kendall, a 24-year-old Utah hairdresser has been awarded $10.5 million by a New Jersey jury for damages to her colon following use of the anti-acne drug Accutane. The trial judge refused to allow the jury to consider punitive damages.

Kendall is the third Accutane plaintiff to successfully sue Hoffman-LaRoche over inflammatory bowel disease. In May, another New Jersey jury awarded $2.62 million in damages to a patient who needed to have his colon and most of his rectum removed after taking the drug Accutane. In October, A Florida jury awarded $7 million in damages to another Accutane user who developed the disorder and said Hoffman-LaRoche failed to adequately warn of the drug's risks.

Kendall started taking Accutane at age 12. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 14, and in 2006 she had her colon removed and now suffers from debilitating diarrhea.

Hoffman-LaRoche is apparently appealing all three verdicts, and insisted that the link between Accutane and inflammatory bowel disease has not yet been proven. In a possibly contradictory statement, however, the company also said that "the Accutane labeling has contained a warning about IBD for more than 20 years."

Accutane may well go the way of Bendectin....

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.