When she stopped taking Abilify, the gambling stopped.
Abilify was first introduced to the market in 2003 as a treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. While schizophrenia remains a less-common condition, depression and bipolar disorder are both widespread and growing. In the 13 years Abilify has been available in the US, some 24 million Americans have been prescribed Abilify.
The Mileys, and other plaintiffs with similar complaints, assert they had no knowledge about the possibility of compulsive gambling. However, it appears as though the manufacturer did, as Abilify labels in Europe have, for some time, warned about the potential for such compulsive activity.
Product labels in the US, on the other hand, have not – at least not until this past August, when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a label change to include the potential for compulsive gambling on the Abilify label.
Plaintiffs in Abilify lawsuits assert that the absence of a gambling warning on the US product labels translated to increased revenue for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (Bristol Meyers) in the US. The Mileys note in their Abilify compensation claim that revenues from Abilify in the US amounted to $417 million over the first three months of 2014, compared against $555 million worldwide over the same period.
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Miley began taking Abilify in September, 2014. She stopped using the drug five months later, in February 2015. During that time she amassed more than $75,000 in gambling losses.
The Miley lawsuit, and those of several other complainants, has been consolidated for pre-trial proceedings before Chief District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida. Plaintiffs had been asking for such a transfer, and co-defendants Bristol-Meyers and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. agreed.
The transfer of 22 lawsuits from 12 districts was approved October 3. The litigation is In re: Abilify Compulsive Behavior Products Liability Litigation, MDL number2734, before the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.