Tinnitus caused a man to murder the doctor who prescribed him Accutane

1.1 Man murders doctor who prescribed him Accutane, claimed it ruined his life

Via Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine – A sentence to life in prison was made after the murder of a dermatologist who prescribed Accutane which allegedly caused serious adverse effects to the killer.

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Reports say that Hans Peterson traveled to the French-controlled island of St. Martin and admitted his crime to the authorities on August 6, 2007. He turned himself into the French police and confessed to killing Dr. David Cornbleet in his office in Chicago. He blamed Cornbleet for prescribing him isotretinoin, or more popularly known as the brand Accutane, an oral drug to treat severe acne.

Peterson took the drug only twice in 2002 but felt various ill-effects such as depression, loss of sexual sensitivity and libido, and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. In June 2002, he started posting on a website forum for people who took the drug to treat acne and experienced adverse effects. He went on to post about his distress for five years as well as his anger towards the company that produced the drug, Roche Pharmaceuticals. In his last post, which was nine months after the murder, he said that justice would not be served in the legal system as the company will be shielded from personal liability.

Roche Pharmaceuticals admitted that the controversial drug can cause depression, psychosis, and rarely, suicidal thoughts. Truly, the drug includes a product information insert that contains a warning to stop the medication if a patient or his family member observes symptoms of depression or psychosis.


1.2 Digging deeply

Meanwhile, a definitive account of the Peterson case, entitled “Bloodlines” by Chicago’s Bryan Smith, tells the story of the murder from the perspective of the doctor’s son and the father of the accused. It also details Peterson’s long history of serious mental illness since his high school years and his growing obsession with Accutane. It also mentioned his attendance in law school before his life was unhinged.

In the same account, Peterson regarded Cornbleet as an “unethical old man”. He talked to his roommate, who lived with him in an apartment while studying law, about harming the doctor “for what he had done to him”.

Meanwhile, the deceased dermatologist’s relatives said that he was a caring and attentive doctor who made sure that his patients’ needs were met, even if it meant working long hours.

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