Dermatologists complain about risk management program for acne drug

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 25, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The system established to reduce the chance that a woman will become pregnant while taking isotretinoin is confusing, onerous and disruptive, according to an American Academy of Dermatology Assn. survey released this month to mark the six-month anniversary of the program.

According to the survey carried out by Doane Marketing Research, more than 90% of physicians who prescribe this drug have had at least some problems with the iPLEDGE program, which requires registration of everyone involved with dispensing and using this medication. More than 50% had problems getting help from iPLEDGE call center staff, and more than 35% said the system was confusing.

To make this system less of a burden, many survey respondents want the 30-day requirement between appointments scrapped and an allowance that prescriptions can be rewritten if a patient is unable to pick up their medications within a seven-day window. Nearly 13% want to see the program eliminated, and 10% would like to see male patients and women who are unable to have children exempt.

Isotretinoin is a known teratogen. The iPLEDGE system is the latest attempt to keep it available while reducing the risk of fetal exposure.

A Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman acknowledged that there have been problems with the system, particularly in the first month of operation, but that many had been addressed.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn