October 6th, 2016|
Popular Prescription Drug Abilify Linked to Compulsive Gambling, Other Behaviors
(Washington, DC) – The United States Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation has issued a Transfer Order centralizing federal lawsuits in the Abilify® drug litigation, Abilify® (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2734. These cases will be transferred to a federal court in the Northern District of Florida for the discovery stage of litigation. The Honorable M. Casey Rodgers was selected to preside over the multi-district litigation.
Attorneys on both sides of the issue support the Transfer Order. In the October 3, 2016 Order, the Panel stated that on the basis of papers filed and a hearing session held, “All the actions share common factual questions arising out of allegations that Abilify® (Aripiprazole), an atypical antipsychotic medication commonly prescribed to treat a variety of mental disorders, can cause impulse control problems in users. Plaintiffs in these actions each allege that they experienced compulsive gambling behaviors as a result of taking Abilify®.” Furthermore, the Panel stated that “all the actions involve factual questions relating to whether Ability was defectively designed or manufactured, whether defendants knew or should have known of the alleged propensity of Abilify® to cause compulsive gambling behaviors in users, and whether defendants provided adequate instructions and warnings with this product.”
“We are glad the courts will consider this litigation and the tragic impact this widely prescribed drug has had on so many individuals and their families,” said Kristian Rasmussen of Cory Watson Attorneys, a law firm representing several thousand Abilify® clients.
The Cory Watson Attorneys litigation team represents Abilify® patients from across the U.S. Plaintiffs contend the maker of Abilify® failed to warn users of the link between the drug and the increased risk of developing compulsive behaviors. Many Abilify® users report that the compulsive behaviors stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. Defendants in the Abilify MDL include Bristol Myers Squibb Company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd., and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Abilify® is prescribed to treat mental illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder, Tourette syndrome and schizophrenia. Scientific studies and adverse event reports to the FDA have linked Abilify® to potentially devastating side effects including compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive spending, and overeating.
In May of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement that updated the list of compulsive behaviors on the drug’s warning label, adding “compulsive eating, shopping and sexual actions” to “pathological gambling” as side effects.
Cory Watson Attorneys is a Birmingham, Alabama personal injury law firm recognized nationally for its practice areas of complex litigation including class actions and mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs and defective medical devices. The firm has an extensive practice in environmental law and individual personal injury cases including those involving automobile accidents, products liability, sexual abuse, catastrophic injury and wrongful death.