The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a woman who developed lupus and hepatitis after taking the acne drug Solodyn could pursue a consumer fraud claim against the drug manufacturer, Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.
Amanda Watts of Chandler, Arizona, sued Medicis for failing to provide adequate warning information about the potential side effects of Solodyn. Her suit was dismissed by a Maricopa County Superior Court and then reinstated on appeal to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Watts was prescribed a 20-week course of Solodyn in 2008 for treatment of her acne. In 2010, she was prescribed another 20-week course of the drug. After she completed the second course of treatment, she was diagnosed with drug-induced lupus and hepatitis. She recovered from the hepatitis, but will have lupus for the rest of her life.
In her consumer fraud suit, Watts contends that the Medicis drug discount card she received from her doctor did not adequately warn her of the potential side effects of using Solodyn over a 20-week period of time. She said the card only noted, “the safety of using Solodyn longer than 12 weeks has not been studied and is not known.”
Watts said the paper insert she received from the pharmacist only warned patients that if they had symptoms that persisted after 12 weeks, they should consult a doctor.
The suit claims that the Medicis drug discount card misrepresented and omitted material facts, and that Watts never received the full prescribing information for the drug, which states that long-term use of Solodyn has been associated with “drug-induced lupus-like syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis and vasculitis.”
While the Arizona Supreme Court said it would allow the case to move forward, it also noted that if Medicis can prove that it provide adequate warnings to Watts' doctor, it would have fulfilled its duty to warn and would be entitled to summary judgment.
Showard Law Firm is Tucson's local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims. If you believe you or a loved one have been harmed by a medication, contact us for a free consultation.