Coroner finds no connection between suicide by a girl aged 15 and prescriptions for acne medication.

Jonathan Leach claimed that the evidence from specialists on an Isotretinoin-related link to self-harm is not settled.

After being prescribed the drug six-months prior, Annabel Wright’s family found her in her bedroom at home in Ripon in North Yorkshire.

After hearing the teenage girl send messages on Snapchat claiming she was feeling low and that ‘life wasn’t worth living,’ Mr Leach concluded her suicide.

Helen Wright’s parents Simon Wright and Helen Wright accused the authorities of willful ignorance over Roaccutane effects. They warned that others would also be affected by the toxic drug.

Annabel killed herself while her brain was being affected by the medication, according to her family. 

Annabel Wright, 15, was found in her bedroom by family members at her home near Ripon, North Yorkshire in May 2019 after being prescribed the drug six months previously

Annabel Wright (15 years old) was discovered in her bedroom in North Yorkshire by her family in May 2019. She had been prescribed the drug six month prior.

Her parents Simon and Helen Wright accused authorities of 'willful ignorance' over the effects of the drug Roaccutane, and warned other families would experience the heartbreak of the 'toxic drug'

Helen Wright’s parents Simon Wright and Helen Wright accused the authorities of willful ignorance over Roaccutane effects. They warned other families that they would feel the pain.

Police also discovered a photo Annabel made of Kermit, the Frog, hanging from a noose after her death.

In January 2019, she also had’scratched her wrists’ with a razor, shortly after being heard laughing in her bedroom while talking to friends.

According to her parents, the teenager died due to Roaccutane.

Northallerton’s inquest heard contradictory evidence from Dr Sarah Wakelin and Professor Anthony Chu, two dermatologists who were experts in the topic of whether Isotretinoin contributed to Annabel’s death.

Assistant coroner North Yorkshire for Mr Leach said that Prof Chu’s claims about Annabel’s death being linked to Isotretinoin use ‘was clearly beyond his level of expertise.

He stated that he did not possess the objectivity that I seek in an expert.

“It is Dr Wakelin’s approach that I admire. I think she is measured, and prepared to provide proof and arguments.

“For these purposes, when there’s conflict, I prefer to see the evidence of Dr Wakelin.”

He recorded these findings. Mr Leach stated: “There’s no evidence Annabel’s brain was disturbed. Annabel taking her own life doesn’t in itself indicate that her mind was affected. Even if this were the case, it is not clear that Isotretinoin contributed or caused the problem.”

“The only evidence that Annabel had was that her parents could not provide any explanation for why she would endanger herself and Prof Chu. That part of his evidence was out of his field of expertise.

According to the inquest, Annabel visited her GP at 12 years old about her acne and was later referred by Harrogate District Hospital at 14 years.

Helen Wright Wright was Helen Wright’s mother. She said her daughter did not show any signs of depression. Her death, she explained, ‘just didn’t make any sense.

The family had been hoping for a verdict that Annabel took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed by the medication


Annabel killed herself while her brain was being affected by the medication, according to her family.

Wright said, “I didn’t know that suicidal thoughts could overwhelm a normal person.”

Simon Wright, Annabel’s father, stated to the inquiry: “There wasn’t a precursor of depression or mood change. Being morose was not something that happened.”

“Annabel, Annabel was my mother and I think it was connected.”

Inquest revealed that Annabel had been seen by Dr Alison Layton and Dr Ibtessam El-Mansori before being prescribed Isotretinoin.

Dr Layton explained that the treatment had ‘all negative effects’ to her patients as well as their families, with the exception of suicide risk.

Leach concluded that Isotretinoin’s prescription was reasonable, and formal consent was obtained.

“I’m satisfied with the suicide question and there was a connection to Isotretinoin. Dr El-Mansori stated that there had not been a causal relationship and suicides could have other contributing factors.

“I’m satisfied that the Dermatology Association leaflet has been given. Annabel Wright wanted to hear her opinion and, in the interim, she prescribed another antibiotic.

“I don’t accept Annabel Wright and Mrs Wright weren’t properly informed about the dangers of Isotretinoin. I believe the options and treatment recommendations discussed were fair and balanced.”

As Mrs Wright, North Yorkshire’s coroner, read out a prepared declaration, Wright and the couple stood side-by-side, blaming both the NHS chiefs.

“The inquest evidence has proven that our normal happy child, with no prior warning, took her own suicide, abruptly and without any other mitigating circumstances than the fact she was using a drug which could cause death.”

“Despite these facts, the coroner failed to find cause for this drug’s death. Although we are disappointed, the verdict given today does not surprise.

Harrogate Hospital let Annel down when she was prescribed a medication that could lead to suicide, but which she didn’t need.

“She suffered in the life she lived and was then let down by her own death. The authorities refused to recognize the part that isotretinoin played.

“But, we, our family, friends and those who know her well, have the truth and will not accept the opinion of people who did not meet her but had the authority to judge her.

“We’re where we are because authorities didn’t listen to the parents of children who were killed by this drug in other cases.”

“Whatever conclusion this inquest brought, it did not change our minds. 

Our beautiful daughter Annabel is now dead. However, by not making a PFD, (prevention of further deaths), report about the possible role that isotretinoin played in Annabel’s passing, the coroner lost an excellent opportunity to attempt to prevent similar events from occurring to other children, or to families.

“We are certain that we won’t get justice for Annabel, but we did our best to make sure we were recognized for the part isotretinoin had in Annabel’s tragic death.

“We could not do any more in the face of the wilful ignorance displayed by those who are unwilling to listen.”

“In light of all this, we, as parents who have lost a child, would like to use the occasion to warn other people about the dangers associated with isotretinoin. They will not be able to hear the real side effects, such as sudden suicidal thoughts, from the doctors who prescribe it.

We hope other parents will not permit their children to use this drug.

Other than to state that Wright felt that the entire case, from the inquest to its conclusion, was ‘bizarre,’ Mr Wright did not have any other comments.

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