Advancements in technology such as the airplane and the internet have succeeded in making the world a more tightly knit community. It’s a time to be joyful except we seem determined not to learn from developed countries around us. At a time we are submerged in litigation alleging many of our drugs are unsafe and cause more harm than good, there’s news from New Zealand that at least one of the contentious drugs can be used safely. We need to start this story back in history. Because Accutane is known to have the possibility of causing serious birth defects, it’s one of the most dangerous drugs any woman can use. This made it a big challenge for the FDA. There was no doubt of its effectiveness and, in psychological terms, acne is a serious illness. In the end, the FDA licensed the drug but with heavy warnings its use should be carefully controlled. Therefore from the beginning everyone should have known that Accutane is a drug that cannot be taken lightly or misused. This is not the place to analyze the failures of the FDA. Suffice it to say, it has not covered itself in glory.
Accutane in the Courts and The Truth About the Drug
Now we would like to talk on the litigation alleging the drug is linked to a number of other serious side effects like inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s Disease with many class actions moving slowly through the courts. Hoffmann-La-Roche defends the drug nonstop obviously because they are raking in tons of cash on the drug. But the lawyers have an interesting issue to debate. The research from New Zealand ran for six years, long enough to detect even the rarest of diseases as side effects. Over 1,700 people took part in the studies. This is statistically significant and useful conclusions should be able to be drawn from this data. Full precautions to prevent pregnancy were successful. As to the results, all those taking Accutane reported an improvement in their skin. No one developed any serious diseases and only thirteen withdrew from the trial because of unpleasant side effects. So, if you are proposing to use Accutane, take a dose representing no more than 0.25 mg/kg of your bodyweight. In New Zealand, Accutane is considered safe.