A recent product liability lawsuit filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. makes allegations that the companies withheld information from consumers as well as medical professionals that Abilify use can lead to pathological gambling addiction.
The plaintiff in the case claims that after he began using the atypical antipsychotic medication Abilify in 2013, he suffered not only substantial gambling losses, but also loss of employment, severe damage to his financial stability, and other mental and physical losses. He claims that his gambling problems began shortly after he started to use Abilify and continued until shortly after he stopped the medication in August 2015. The side effects of Abilify allegedly caused him to engage in the pathological gambling behavior and adversely impacted his brain, according to court documents.
Although European drug regulators required Abilify’s label to include pathological gambling warnings in 2012, similar warnings were not provided to physicians in the U.S. until May 2016, when the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the drug. According to the FDA, these uncontrollable urges stopped when the medication was discontinued or the dosage reduced.
In 2014, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported evidence that dopamine receptor agonists (often used to treat Parkinson’s Disease) were linked to gambling and other impulse-control problems, the same behavioral problems associated with Abilify use.
Abilify (ariprazole) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 and is typically prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and autism spectrum disorders. The medication has generated sales of more than $6 billion per year and was the top selling brand name drug on the market in 2013.
For these reasons and many others, the Abilify lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith continue to review and investigate Abilify cases in patients that experienced pathological gambling addictions and have sustained verifiable gaming losses in excess of $50,000. If you have questions about a potential claim or just need more information, please contact our office right now to see how we can help. Toll free at 1-800-641-0098 or via email at Intake@cssfirm.com