Depressed or suffering from schizophrenia? If you or someone you know has been under treatment for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or depression, you may have been prescribed an antipsychotic drug. Abilify (aripoprozole) is one such drug. Developed by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals with the help of pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb Co, the drug has been prescribed to over 24 million patients in the US as an antipsychotic. Otsuka reported revenues totaling over $4.7 billion in 2013 alone.
Abilify Compulsive Behavior Lawsuits
Like many other drugs, Abilify has serious side effects. However, recent lawsuits against the manufacturers of the drug indicate that the companies failed to warn both health professionals and consumers of compulsive and destructive behaviors that are associated with the usage of the drug.
To date, at least 24 lawsuits that have been filed alleging that the company failed to warn about the side effects of compulsive behavior. Some of the compulsive and destructive behaviors that have been outlined in these lawsuits include:
- Pathological gambling
Patients have been described to partake in gambling to an almost psychotic degree. This has been seen in both people who had and didn’t have a history of gambling.
- Binge eating
- Excessive shopping
All these behaviors were included in a warning issued against the drug by the FDA in 2016. An FDA report supporting the warning showed that the drug was responsible for compulsive and uncontrollable behavior in at least 54 cases.
Moving to consolidate
Despite the warning against the use of the drug, it is yet to be recalled from the market. However, action against the drug is set to escalate as parties move to consolidate the law suits brought against the manufacturers into a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
While many plaintiffs would prefer to have their individual cases heard, the move to consolidate may be beneficial for all parties involved. The MDL will promote efficiency in the case. It reduces the need for duplicative discovery and may speed up the proceedings. Instead of waiting each and every case to be heard, the lawsuits will all be presented in a single forum. The move will also save all parties attorney fees as well as other related costs.
Consolidation also improves consistency in court decisions. This is because the decisions will be made by a single judge who has been presented with all the facts and has studied the relevant laws. This puts the plaintiffs in a better position of being compensated for the harm they suffered.