Roche Holding AG, the maker of the acne drug, Accutane, has won a reversal of a $10.5 million verdict because a judge barred the company from using evidence about the drug’s use. Lawyers for Roche should have been able to use data about how many people had used Accutane in the 2008 trial of Kamie Kendall, a Utah resident who blamed the drug for causing her IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), a disorder commonly associated with taking the acne drug. This is a huge victory for Roche, a company who has lost all seven cases against Accutane since 2007. Roche paid well over $45 million to plaintiffs in those cases.
According to the appeals court, “Roche was unduly impeded at this trial from adducing and advocating numerical proofs that could have potentially and reasonably led a jury to reach a different verdict.”
Accutane, Roche’s second biggest-selling drug, has been taken by approximately 13 million people since it went on the market in 1982. The drug has also been linked to birth defects and depression.