F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., a Swiss global health-care company, announced that its Accutane, acne medicine, won't be available anymore. Accutane has been sold to 13 million patients since 1982.
The company cited declining sales as one of the major reasons behind the decision. Roche's patent for Accutane expired in 2002, since then the generics started dominating the market. Accutane sales now occupy less than 5% of the isotretinoin market.
Personal injury lawsuits are another important reason behind the company's decision to pull Accutane out of the shelves. Presently, the company is facing as many as
5000 personal-injury lawsuits due to the harmful side affects of the drug.
Accutane can have extremely serious side effects, such as mental health problems like including depression, psychosis, and suicide. It can lead to miscarriage or birth defects when taken by pregnant women.
The company said: "Roche stands behind the safety of Accutane and the rigorous risk management program Roche developed over decades of cooperation with the FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology."
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