Abilify Compulsive Gambling Losses Could Have Been Avoided, Lawsuit Alleges

Substantial financial losses and problems that resulted from compulsive gambling on Abilify could have been avoided if warnings had been provided to consumers and the medical community, according to allegations raised in a lawsuit recently filed by a Texas man.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 14, Jeremiah Yutzy indicates that side effects of the popular antipsychotic caused him to develop a compulsive gambling addiction shortly after he began taking Abilify in 2011.

Yutzy alleges that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals knew or should have known about the Abilify compulsive gambling risk, yet withheld information and warnings from users and medical providers in the United States.

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“Despite their significant collective resources, and signals that Abilify is associated with compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, Defendants have failed to fully and adequately test or research Abilify and its association with compulsive behaviors to the detriment of Plaintiff, Abilify users, the public, the medical community and the prescribing doctors,” according to the complaint, which goes on to indicate that harm from gambling could have been avoided with the adoption of a reasonable alternative design or warnings.

The case joins a growing number of similar Abilify lawsuits filed by individuals nationwide, each raising similar allegations that plaintiffs experienced substantial financial losses, damage to their reputation and overall stability due to gambling or other compulsive behaviors.

Abilify Compulsive Behavior

Abilify (ariprazole) is one of the top-selling brand name medications on the market in the United States, generating sales in excess of $6 billion per year. It was introduced in 2002 for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other major depressive disorders, but is also widely used to treat irritability, aggression, mood swings and other behavior issues.

Yutzy and other plaintiffs note that Abilify warnings provided in Europe warned about the compulsive gambling risk as early as 2012, and information was added to the label in Canada in 2015. However, there was no such warning on the label for Abilify in the U.S. until earlier this year.

In May 2016, the FDA required the drug makers to update the warning label to provide information for users and doctors about the potential link between Abilify and gambling problems, compulsive shopping and other compulsive activities.

The regulatory agency noted that a large number of adverse event reports have been received from users describing uncontrollable urges to gamble, shop, eat or engage in sexual activity.

Addictive gambling problems on Abilify can have a severe impact on users, and lawsuits allege that these devastating consequences could have been avoided if warnings had been provided about the importance of monitoring for signs of compulsive behaviors.

Given the growing number of similar complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) was established in October, centralizing all cases in the Northern District of Florida under U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers for coordinated discovery and bellwether trials.

As Abilify gambling lawyers continuing to review and file additional cases for individuals who have been left with severe financial problems as a result of an addiction that surfaced shortly after starting to use the drug or increasing the dose, it is widely expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of lawsuits may ultimately be transferred into the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).


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