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Roche Holding AG removes Accutane acne medicine from market after verdicts.

On June 26, reported that Roche would take Accutane off the market following a reevaluation of personal injury verdicts and generic competition.  Roche has "vigorously" defended claims that the drug causes bowel disease, but jurors have awarded a total of $33 million dollars in damagesin several cases, and there are as many as 5,000 claims still pending.  One of the attorneys who attained a successful verdict claims that six cases have gone to trial and that all have been losses for the manufacturer.

13 million people have taken Accutane since 1982.   Roche's patent expired in 2002.  The drug has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease and also to birth defects and depression.  It has previously been taken off the market in 11 other countries.  While a spokesman for the company said that safety was not behind the decision to take it off the market in the U.S., no one alleges that personal injury claims influence the decision to remove drugs from the market in France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Austria or the other countries where it has previously been 'retired'. 

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