In an order issued on February 15, the Court directed all plaintiff's counsel in the Abilify gambling litigation to appear for a case management conference as a global settlement has been reached to resolve most of the lawsuits pending in the federal court system.
The terms of the settlement deal have not been disclosed yet; it will be reviewed by lawyers representing the individuals. The drug makers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, filed a motion the same day, asserting that the Court must ask any plaintiffs' counsel rejecting the settlement agreement to furnish additional information to certify that the claims were appropriately reviewed.
In a motion filed on January 16, 2019, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company requested the judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation for the antipsychotic drug Abilify to toss gambling lawsuits filed by 550 plaintiffs unless they furnish more information linked to their Abilify use and past medical records.
The companies asserted that the plaintiffs violated a court order that required them to submit additional information latest by November 2018.
Aripiprazole is used predominantly for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but can also be used as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tic disorders, and irritability associated with autism.
Abilify is known to decrease hallucinations and improve concentration. When there is a hormonal imbalance, Abilify either increases or decreases the levels of dopamine or serotonin in the brain. The drug arbitrates its action by either blocking receptors or by binding to them and inducing an opposite response to the receptor's normal role.
A large number of patients treated with Abilify were reported to develop the habit of compulsive gambling and got racked up with large amounts of debts. Other pathological behaviors like excessive eating, excessive shopping, and Hypersexuality are also noted who started using or increased dosage of Abilify.
Young patients with depression and elderly patients with dementia consuming Abilify are found to be at a high risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. It also increases the risk of developing diabetes.
More than 2,000 Abilify product liability claims are pending against the drug makers over allegations that the drug makers failed to provide adequate warning about the serious side-effects of the antipsychotic drug, which include uncontrollable urges to gamble and engage in impulsive behavior. The multidistrict litigation MDL No. 2734 (In Re: Abilify Compulsive Behavior Products Liability Litigation) was formed in October 2016 in the Northern District of Florida overlooked by Judge M. Casey Rodgers for coordinated discovery and pre-trial proceeding.