Does Accutane cause inflammatory bowel disease? That was the question on everyone's mind in a federal appeals court yesterday when attorneys asked a three-judge panel to admit testimony from an expert witness who says that it does.
Spokespersons at Hoffman-La Roche, the drug's manufacturer, says that there is no connection between the chronic bowel condition and the popular acne medication, but in at least three multi-million dollar lawsuits, the courts seem to disagree.
And plaintiff lawyers say there are hundreds more similar cases on the horizon, many of which will hinge on the provision of the types of expert testimony under consideration in the court yesterday.
The drug company, in fact, has noted an association with inflammatory bowel disease on the Accutane label, yet maintains that the drug--which has been on the market for about a quarter century--does not cause the condition.