The federal multidistrict litigation involving hundreds of Abilify gambling lawsuits is moving forward in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. According to the Court’s calendar, the litigation’s “Science Day” is to be convened later this month
At least 60 Abilify lawsuits are currently undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings in the centralized litigation underway in the Middle District of Florida. All of the cases were filed on behalf of individuals who developed compulsive gambling habits, allegedly due to Abilify side effects. Plaintiffs claim that the medication was defectively designed and manufactured, and assert that its manufacturers knew or should have known of Abilify’s alleged link to impulse control issues. They further allege that doctors and patients were not provided with adequate instructions and warnings for its use.
The Abilify litigation’s Science Day will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017. The event will provide plaintiffs and defendants with an opportunity to apprise the Court of the medical and scientific issues central to Abilify lawsuits. Science Day presentations are considered off-the-record, and are intended only for the Court’s benefit.
Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. In May 2016, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced label updates for all aripiprazole-containing medications, after a review of the agency’s adverse event database revealed more than 180 reports of impulse control disorders potentially associated with their use. More than 150 of the reported cases involved compulsive gambling, while the remaining included reports of compulsive sexual behavior, shopping and eating. The majority of affected patients had no prior history of impulse control problems and reported that they began experiencing uncontrollable urges shortly after they began treatment with aripiprazole. The urges subsided for most patients once dosage was decreased or treatment ceased.
Prior to the label change, the prescribing information for Abilify and other aripiprazole drugs did mention compulsive gambling as a possible side effect. However, the agency determined in the course of its review that the wording did not completely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk associated with aripiprazole.