As of June 25, 2009, drug maker Roche Holding AG stopped selling its acne drug Accutane.
For Accutane users, this came as a shock and disappointment. Accutane was an oral medication prescribed for those with severe nodular or "cystic" acne, or severe inflammatory acne that didn't respond to other treatments.
Accutane sales had been slowing as more people turned to generic alternatives, and Roche decided it wasn't making enough money on the product to justify continued distribution. The company maintains the decision to stop selling Accutane was purely financial, and not because the drug was unsafe.
Accutane was introduced in 1982; generic versions have been available since 2002.
The drug maker has also been plagued by lawsuits. Accutane has been linked to, among other things, mental health problems, inflammatory bowel disease, and severe birth defects (when taken by pregnant women).
Despite these and other side effects, Accutane and additional isotretinoin products have remained popular. For many, these oral medications are the only treatments that have worked to clear acne.