Abilify, an antipsychotic medication, may increase the risk of compulsive gambling addiction and type-2 diabetes in children. The manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, is facing litigation for allegedly downplaying this risk information.
Abilify Lawsuits Centralized in MDL
In October 2016, judges centralized all federal Abilify lawsuits into Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2734) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida under Judge M. Casey Rodgers.
Label Updated With Stronger Warnings About Addictive Behaviors
August 2016 — The new label (PDF) has stronger warnings about addictive behavior:
- Patients may not be able to recognize that their addictive behaviors are unusual.
- Doctors should specifically ask patients about any new or intense urges to gamble, shop, eat, or have sex.
- Patients with these problems should stop taking Abilify or reduce the dose. In most cases, the urges go away. Click here to read more.
FDA Issues Warnings About Gambling Addiction
In May 2016, the FDA issued a Safety Communication for Abilify and will update the label to include stronger warnings about uncontrollable urges to gamble, eat, shop, and have sex. The FDA said it had received 184 reports of impulse-control disorders since Abilify was approved in November 2002. Click here to read more.
What is Abilify?
Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical anti-psychotic drug that is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb. In 2007, the drug-maker reached a $515 million settlement with the Justice Department for improperly marketing Abilify in children between 2002-2005.
Abilify and Gambling Addiction
Researchers are calling for a “Black Box” warning label about gambling addiction, hyper-sexuality, compulsive shopping, and other impulse disorders on the label for drugs in the dopamine agonist class, such as Abilify.
Abilify works by influencing dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. It is involved in feelings of pleasure, motivation, and is activated in the body’s “reward system” to reinforce behaviors.
Experts have known about the risk of impulsive behavior disorders since at least 2005. Since then, the studies have linked Abilify with dozens of reports of gambling addiction. In April 2011, three case reports were detailed in the British Journal of Psychiatry:
- “[J] was pre-occupied with thoughts of gambling and his gambling activity became both impulsive and involved extensive planning in obtaining funds to gamble, including the use of crime.”
- “[K] described an escalation in his gambling to the extent of spending all of his money and it being ‘a reason to live’.”
- “[S] began experiencing strong urges to gamble in the form of a euphoric feeling when thinking about gambling. In the following 2 years he incurred debts of around £25,000 on internet betting sites.”
What is the problem?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm, but our trial attorneys are not filing an Abilify class action. Instead, we are focusing our efforts on individual lawsuits and only accepting cases involving people who took Abilify and developed a gambling addiction or type-2 diabetes as children (under age 18).
About Class Actions
A class action is a specialized type of lawsuit in which many individual claims are consolidated into a “representative” action. Instead of everyone filing a lawsuit alone, many people join together and collectively argue for compensation.
Why Our Law Firm is Filing Individual Lawsuits as Opposed to a Class Action
Class actions can be beneficial in certain circumstances, but they can have major disadvantages for individuals with very serious injuries. Our attorneys file individual lawsuits because we believe this is the best way we can advocate for each client’s legal and financial interests.
The problem with class actions is that many plaintiffs have to accept higher attorney’s fees or a “low-ball” settlement. They may never see their case taken to trial. Even if compensation is awarded, everyone in the class action must share it equally.