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Abilify Lawsuit Update

Abilify

Abilify Trials Settled at Mediation

Abilify lawsuits allege the anti-psychotic medication is linked to compulsive gambling and other addictive behaviors. Prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome, over 450 cases have been consolidated before Chief Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida in MDL 2734: In re: Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation (Abilify MDL Case – Northern District of Florida) with Magistrate Judge Gary Jones. Abilify trials set for June 18, 2018 were settled at mediation before Special Master Cathy Yanni. Judge Casey Jones entered an order 876 – Order, Settlement of First Trial Pool Cases.pdf suspending the deadlines and staying further prosecution. The cases were chosen by Judge Rodgers using a random number generator function in Excel. The cases settled included:

  1. June 18, 2018: Fanny Lyons, et al v. BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY et al, Cause No. 3:16-cv-00414
  2. Aug. 6, 2018: David and Cassie Viechec v. BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY et al, Cause No. 3:16-cv-00291
  3. Aug. 27, 2018: Jennifer Lilly v. BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY et al,  Cause No.  3:2017cv00186

The suits allege that Abilify causes consumers to exhibit compulsive behaviors and the drug companies failed to warn them that Abilify causes “uncontrollable compulsive behaviors.” In fact, the drug labels in Europe and Canada warn of the pathological gambling risk, but failed to place this warning on the American labels.

Compulsive Gambling, Spending, Eating

Plaintiffs allege that Abilify was defectively designed or manufactured, that the defendants knew or should have known of the propensity of Abilify to cause compulsive gambling, spending, eating and other behaviors in users, and that the defendants failed to provide adequate instructions and warnings with this product. Other compulsive behaviors alleged include:

  • Spending and/or Shopping
  • Sexual behavior
  • Pornography
  • Playing video games
  • Compulsive Eating
  • Hoarding
  • Trichotillomania and skin picking
  • Checking, counting, washing, and repeating
  • Theft/Shoplifting
  • Attempted Suicide / Suicidal Thoughts

Canadian and European Drug Label Changes

In 2002, Abilify was placed on the market and works by increasing dopamine which tends to create uncontrollable urges and impairs decision-making skills. In September 2011, Defendants’ Six-Month Periodic Safety Update Report submitted to the European Medicines Agency did acknowledge there were seven pathological gambling reports: three in the medical literature; four spontaneous reports. Also, there were sixteen cases of pathological gambling in the Bristol-Myers company safety database. In 2012, after reports of 19 cases of “pathological gambling” in Europe, the manufacturers added a warning on the drug in Europe. In 2015, Canadian regulators concluded that there is “a link between the use of aripiprazole and a possible risk of pathological gambling or hypersexuality” and found an increased risk of pathological (uncontrollable) gambling and hypersexuality with the use of Abilify.” Yet, Defendant manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. made no changes to the United States label.

FDA Warning Label Finally Changed

In August 2016, warnings regarding compulsive gambling and other compulsive behaviors were added to the Abilify label. The label now warns that “[b]ecause patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal, it is important for prescribers to ask patients or their caregivers specifically about the development of new or intense gambling urges, compulsive sexual urges, compulsive shopping, binge or compulsive eating, or other urges while being treated with aripiprazole….Compulsive behaviors may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized. Consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges.”

Plaintiffs list causes of action against the Defendant manufacturers, including:

  • Count I – STRICT LIABILITY
  • Count II – BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY
  • Count III – BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY
  • Count IV – NEGLIGENCE
  • Count V – NEGLIGENCE PER SE
  • Count VI – NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION
  • Count VII – VIOLATION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS
  • Count VIII – FRAUDULENT CONCEALMENT
  • Count IX – LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
  • Count X – PUNITIVE DAMAGES

CONTACT US FOR A FREE MEDICAL LEGAL EVALUATION

Contact Us if you or a loved one have taken Abilify and sustained large economic loss due to compulsive gambling or other binge behaviors. We understand the financial and medical and legal issues you are facing and look forward to hearing from you in your claim for compensation.

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