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Accutane Judgments Overturned in Appeals Court

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All drugs, whether they are sold over the counter or available only by prescription, can have side effects. Drug manufacturers are required to include information about potential side effects on product inserts and to list the frequency with which each side effect occurs. Additionally, physicians must know whether their patients are at a particularly high risk of negative consequences if they take particular drugs. A contraindication is a situation in which you should not take a drug. For example, NSAID painkillers like Advil are contraindicated for people who have had weight loss surgery, because of the risk of stomach bleeding. This means that people who have had weight loss surgery should not take the drug. If a doctor does not adequately assess the risks of prescribing a particular drug to a particular patient, and the patient gets sicker as a result, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. If the doctor did everything right, but the drug is simply more dangerous than drug companies represent it to be, it is a case of product liability. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a very common OTC drug that has been the subject of many product liability suits after some patients suffered liver disease after taking relatively low doses. The acne medicine Accutane has also been at the center of product liability suits, although some of the original decisions were overturned in appeals courts in 2017.

The Accutane Lawsuits 

Acne is a very common condition, especially in adolescents of both sexes and in women of childbearing age. Most of the time, it is easily managed with over-the-counter topical treatments. Still, severe acne is one of the most common reasons for visits to dermatologists. Accutane is one of the strongest medications dermatologists can prescribe for acne; they use is only as a last resort, when Retin-A cream, oral antibiotics, and oral contraceptives have been proven ineffective at treating that particular patient’s acne.

The product liability suits began when patients taking Accutane had severe side effects. Some of the side effects were psychiatric, in the form of suicidal thoughts, in some cases severe enough to lead to actual suicide attempts. Other patients suffered ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. As a result of the suits, the manufacturer of Accutane was required to label the drug with a black box warning, informing patients of the risks of these side effects. In 2017, an appeals court overturned some of the earlier decisions. The reason for overturning the decisions was that, in the original case, some expert testimony had been suppressed or misinterpreted.

Contact Bundza & Rodriguez About Product Liability Cases 

Much of the information you find online about the dangers of prescription drugs is little more than clickbait. In some cases, though, drugs may prove to carry greater risks of serious side effects than anyone realized when the drugs were first approved for sale. You may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit if you became seriously ill after taking a prescription drug as directed. Contact Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach, Florida for a legal consultation.

Resources:

propublica.org/article/tylenol-mcneil-fda-use-only-as-directed

judiciary.state.nj.us/attorneys/assets/opinions/appellate/published/a4698-14a0910-16.pdf

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