Abilify, the 2013 top-selling drug on the U.S. market changed actions in the brain in an “unknown” way. For this reason, it should be no surprise that this drug could lead to a number of Abilify lawsuits.

Marketed as “a thermostat to restore balance,” Abilify outsold all other major-anti depressants in 2013 and 2014 combined. During this same time frame, the FDA issued warnings to the company noting their pharmacology aid was misleading.

Abilify earned U.S. revenue of $7.8 billion between the years of 2011 to 2016.

Abilify (aripiprazole) was approved in June 2006 to treat adult schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is an antipsychotic medication marketed by a partnership of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical.  The drug was also marketed as an “add-on treatment for adults with depression when an antidepressant alone is not enough”.

Have you seen an Abilify Commercial?

Did a recent Abilify commercial grab your attention? Did you find our site because you were wondering if you qualify for the Abilify lawsuits?

We built the Instant Case Evaluator as a no cost/no obligation place for you to find answers about your legal rights.  Yes, there is a tool for that!  If you found us today, you are looking for instant answers to whether you should file a lawsuit and we want to help you. We believe that in order for you to make important decisions about your health and your legal rights, you need to start with information. We provide you this valuable information so you are prepared to talk to a lawyer.

Why is There An Abilify Lawsuit?

Abilify and its generics previously listed compulsive gambling as a potential side effect for the antipsychotic drug and its generics.  After 14 years of monitoring adverse events, the FDA said the warning was not strong enough.

According to Abilify lawsuits, the warning did not reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk.  A 2014 study by Thomas Moore of the Institute of Safe Medication Practices, noted that urges were not rare.  These include uncontrollable gambling, eating, shopping and having sex.  In fact, Moore notes, “If you compare the uncontrollable urges to the risk of suicide among patients who take antidepressant drugs, the rate of uncontrollable urges is much higher.”

In addition to the 2014 studies, the Abilify lawsuits note that both Canada and Europe updated their warnings, but the manufacturer (BMS-Otsuka) failed to warn patients of the dangers in the U.S.

A corporation, by definition is profit seeking. There is no requirement that a corporation act morally. Unfortunately, too often we see dangerous drugs, devices and products remain on the market when corporations prioritize profit over people.

If these same corporations warn consumers of these risks, there is no case. We only pursue lawsuits on behalf of individuals who were not warned of the risk associated with the dangerous drug, device or product on the market.

TruLaw is pursuing Abilify lawsuits because we believe consumers were not properly warned of the risks of injury.

Why Were Abilify Gambling Warnings Issued in Europe and Canada and Not in the U.S.? 

This is precisely the question individuals harmed by uncontrollable urges are asking the manufacturers. In the fall of 2012, the European Medicines Agency updated the label of Abilify to transparently add reports of pathological gambling among patients prescribed Abilify, regardless of whether these patients had a prior history of gambling.

In November of 2015, Canadian regulators followed suit noting an increased risk of uncontrollable gambling and hypersexuality.  The Abilify labeling then added warnings.

Abilify Pill Bottle

Despite earlier studies and label changes, Otsuka and Bristol-Meyers-Squibb did not warn the U.S. of the link between Abilify and gambling.  Furthermore, the FDA did not change the label until May of 2016, leaving millions of Americans at risk for uncontrollable behaviors.
In May 2016, the FDA warned that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics).  According to the FDA, this compulsive behavior could affect anyone taking the medication. Patients and caregivers need to be made aware of the uncontrollable and excessive urges and behaviors that could occur while taking Abilify.

Compulsive Gambling Abilify Lawsuit

Thomas J. Moore explained the Abilify and gambling link in layman’s terms in an article published on The Daily Beast.

“The drug triggers a pathological urge to gamble constantly, sometimes among persons with no previous interest”. According to Moore, “it might be people starting to spend $300 a week on lottery tickets, and in other cases, people will gamble away tens of thousands of dollars.”

According to Sean Brazil, one of the individuals filing an Abilify gambling lawsuit, after taking Abilify in 2004, he began compulsive gambling, which lasted for a decade until he finally stopped taking the drug.  Brazil said he lost more than $50,000 in gambling as a result of Abilify.

Patrick Parks also filed an Abilify lawsuit claiming the drug caused him to lose more than $75,000 while gambling.  Parks was a compulsive gambler only while on Abilify from August 2014 until November 2014.  When he stopped taking the drug the compulsive gambling stopped.

Abilify through one woman’s life into a “tailspin” while she was taking it.  She described herself in a “hypnotic state “ and became obsessed with sexual fantasies, thriving for the attention of men.  This woman created risqué Facebook pages and sent sexually explicit pictures to her male friends.  She kept up a secondary life that also involved excessive shopping sprees until she forced her family into bankruptcy.

Abilify Lawsuits – “Off Label” Marketing

Bristol-Myers Squibb pushed Abilify as a treatment for kids and for elderly patients with dementia.  Neither of these had clinical trial support or FDA approval.  As a result of this “off-label” marketing, BMS and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the co-promoters of Abilify in the U.S. agreed to settlements in excess of $538 million as follows:

  • $515 million in September 2007 paid by BMS and Apothecon to the U.S. Department of Justice for a wide array of allegations including $25 million paid for the off-label marketing of Abilify.  The rest of the money was the result of illegal drug pricing schemes
  • $4 million in March 2008 payment by Otsuka – $2.3 million to the federal government and $1.7 million to Medicaid programs in various states.
  • $19.5 million in December 2016 in the same off-label marketing settlement with 42 states.

Is there an Abilify Class Action?

We often hear injured people refer to their personal injury case as a “class action” because their case was grouped together in a lawsuit with other injured people. This is most often NOT the case. We are not filing Abilify Class Actions.  However, often, individual cases are grouped together so the attorneys and judge can address common procedural issues initially, saving time for the injured parties and the court, but this is very generally referred to as a “mass tort.”

A Mass tort refers to civil actions involving numerous plaintiffs against one or a few corporate defendants in state or federal court. Class actions are mass torts that are generally used on financial losses and multidistrict litigations (MDL) are generally used on personal injury claims, often in product liability cases.

MDL is a procedural tool used when plaintiffs have incurred injuries from products manufactured by the same defendant(s). Even when plaintiffs incur injuries from the same defendant(s), the amount of damages they may recover for those injuries are often substantially different from other plaintiffs included in the same lawsuit.

It is important to understand that mass tort cases are an effective tool to getting the attention of the large drug and device companies. MDLs assist lawyers in determining exactly what the drug and device companies knew about the risks their products caused and whether or not they should have warned consumers. Too often, consumers believe that they can file a single lawsuit and get the attention of big drug companies. This is very hard to do.

Technically, MDLs do not happen until a judicial panel transfers individual cases to a single court. Depending on when your lawsuit is filed, you may find yourself automatically transferred to the MDL court or you may wait to learn when and if the JPML believes an MDL is the proper venue for the mass tort.

But, rest assured, even if your case is included in an MDL, TruLaw lawyers will treat your injuries, your medical history and your financial needs separately. We are aware that not all cases are the same.

Has There Been an Abilify Settlement? 

We understand the frustration in waiting to hear about settlements in product liability lawsuits. Unfortunately, in drug and device cases, we have no choice but to sue some of the most profitable companies in the world. Big Pharma has deep pockets and lawsuits are a cost of doing business for them. They are not inclined to settle until it makes business sense to them.

TruLaw lawyers building our cases with an eye on winning in court as well as settlement, when we believe that is the best result for our clients. We will never settle without advising you of your options, and we will keep you posted on our progress, to the extent we are legally able.

How Can an Abilify Lawsuit Help?

Your Abilify lawsuit is designed to help you financially recover from injuries that were caused by someone else. We hope putting your trust in TruLaw will take away your concern of protecting your legal rights., but it is most important to us that you spend your time recovering physically.

Your lawsuit should assist in covering your medical bills, the amount of income and benefits that you lost as a result of your injury and, if your injuries are permanent, we will look to recover for your permanent disfigurement.