Month: July 2009

Acne Drug Accutane No Longer Sold

Accutane won’t be sold any more, drug giant Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. has announced.

Generic versions of the acne drug, called isotretinoin, are still available from several manufacturers. But Roche, which has sold the drug to 13 million patients since 1982, will not be one of them.

The decision was made for “business reasons,” Roche announced in a news release. Those reasons include declining sales: Accutane sales now make up less than 5% of the isotretinoin market.

Another big reason: Accutane personal injury lawsuits, which Roche is aggressively defending.

Accutane and other isotretinoin products are effective treatments for serious acne. But the drug can have extremely serious side effects: mental health problems — including depression, psychosis, and suicide — and, when taken by pregnant women, miscarriage or birth defects.

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