An Abilify lawsuit may be an option for patients who took the medication and suffered from compulsive disorders. Lawsuits claim that drug makers failed to adequately warn patients in the U.S. of risks of compulsive behaviors allegedly associated with the widely prescribed medication, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for their injuries with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If you suffered from compulsive gambling or similar compulsive behaviors that resulted in financial loss while taking Abilify, or if you want more information about an Abilify lawsuit, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Abilify lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen an Abilify Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen an Abilify lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by Abilify and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is Abilify?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), aripiprazole (the generic name for Abilify) is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions, in adults and teenagers 13 years of age and older.
Abilify may also be used alone or with other medications to treat episodes of mania or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together) in adults, teenagers, and children 10 years of age and older with bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive disorder), a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods.
Abilify is also used with an antidepressant to treat depression when symptoms cannot be controlled by the antidepressant alone. Abilify is used to treat children 6 to 17 years of age who have autistic spectrum disorder, a developmental problem that causes difficulty communicating and interacting with others. The drug may help control irritable behavior such as aggression, temper tantrums and frequent mood changes in these children.
First introduced in the U.S. in 2002, Abilify is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.
Why is There an Abilify Lawsuit?
Lawsuits allege that Abilify is linked to compulsive gambling as well as other compulsive behaviors, which have resulted in substantial financial, mental and physical damages to patients who have taken the drug. Plaintiffs claim that drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical knew, or should have known, that the drug could lead to an increased risk of serious and dangerous side effects, including uncontrollable compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling.
Compulsive gambling is a major psychiatric disorder, first recognized in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980, and that numerous “case reports have been published in the medical literature linking Abilify to compulsive behavior, including at least seventeen cases of compulsive gambling.”
According to one Abilify lawsuit, the label for the medication in Europe and Canada is required to have a warning regarding post-market reports of pathological gambling among some patients who were prescribed Abilify, regardless of whether those patients had a prior history of the compulsive behavior.
Affected patients allege that the label for the drug in the U.S. contained no mention of pathological or compulsive gambling until January 2016, when the drug maker added “pathological gambling” to the post-marketing experience section of the U.S. label. On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety communication warning patients of reported instances of compulsive urges, including compulsive gambling, with the use of Abilify.
An Abilify lawsuit further claims that “Bristol-Myers touts Abilify as its ‘2013 largest-selling product’ noting sales of $2.3 billion, [and that it] recently reported U.S. revenues from Abilify sales of $417 million over three months ending June 30, 2014, and worldwide revenues of $555 million over the same time period.”
Other Abilify Risks
In addition to the alleged relationship between the use of Abilify and compulsive behaviors, there are a number of other risks associated with the prescription antipsychotic. According to the NIH’s drug information, studies reportedly show that older adults with dementia who take antipsychotics, including Abilify, have an increased chance of death during treatment.
Older adults with dementia may also have a greater chance of having a stroke or ministroke or other severe side effects during treatment. It is also noted that the FDA has not approved Aripiprazole for the treatment of behavior problems in older adults with dementia.
People who have depression and take antipsychotics are especially warned that a small number of children, teenagers, and young adults (up to 24 years of age) who took medications for depression during clinical studies became suicidal. Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, teenagers, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions.
Abilify Side Effects
According to the NIH, common side effects associated with aripiprazole include:
- Stomach pain
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Increased salivation
- Pain, especially in the arms, legs, or joints
Other side effects, including chest pain, high fever and changes in vision, are noted as serious and patients are advised to report them to their doctor immediately.
Has There Been an Abilify Recall?
Although the FDA has issued an Abilify Safety Alert, there has not been an Abilify recall. Lawsuits claim that the drug makers failed to disclose known side effects of the drug and that patients suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn of side effects of a drug can be a basis of drug company liability, regardless of whether the drug has been recalled.
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Is There an Abilify Class Action?
There is no Abilify class action pending as of January, 2017. Abilify lawsuit attorneys are doubtful that a class action will be certified for patients who are adversely affected by the drug. Instead, if multiple lawsuits are filed against the drug makers alleging injuries and other damages caused by Abilify and similar drugs, it is anticipated that these lawsuits will be consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called a multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding. MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by pharmaceutical products.
Has There Been an Abilify Settlement?
On December 8, 2016, the New York State Office of the Attorney General announced a $19.5 million agreement with the manufacturer of Abilify, Bristol-Myers Squibb, resulting from allegations surrounding inappropriate marketing and promotion of the antipsychotic medication. According to a statement issued by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, alleged off-label marketing practices and misleading claims about the drug sparked the complaint filed in New York County Supreme Court. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia participated in the settlement, which included a number of injunctive terms prohibiting the manufacturer from promoting Abilify for off-label use.
Abilify Lawsuit News
- December 2016New York State Attorney General announces a $19.5 million agreement between Bristol-Myers Squibb and 41 states and the District of Columbia regarding allegations of improper marketing and promotion of Abilify.
- October 2016According to a transfer order issued in early October 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has decided to centralize over 20 Abilfiy lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
- September 2016Abilfy lawsuit claims that Bristol-Myers Squibb new about compulsive gambling risks since 2010.
- May 2016The FDA issues a safety alert for aripiprazole drugs like Abilify, stating that “Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this description does not entirely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk FDA identified.”
- 2015Canadian 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.
- 2012The European Medicines Agency required that drug makers warn patients and the medical community in Europe that Abilify use included the risk of pathological gambling.
- 2002Abilify was first introduced to the market in the United States.
How an Abilify Lawsuit Can Help
When patients suffer from severe side effects from a dangerous or defective drug, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:
- Economic losses
- Medical and other treatment expenses; and
- Mental anguish
If the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future.
Patients who have suffered loss as a result of compulsive gambling or other compulsive behaviors are encouraged to speak with an Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.