The first of hundreds of lawsuits filed by consumers who claim the Abilify antipsychotic caused compulsive behavior has been scheduled for trial in June after a federal judge tossed a bid by drug makers to dismiss the litigation.
The bellwether trial would be the first to put a sustained spotlight on the extent to which the widely used medication has caused patients to succumb to uncontrollable urges to engage in impulsive gambling, shopping, eating, or sex. About 700 lawsuits have been filed in federal court in Florida and dozens more were filed in other states, mostly in New Jersey.
The issue has been percolating for at least eight years as hundreds of reports of gambling and other impulse control disorders were filed by physicians or by patients treated with Abilify. And the number of lawsuits mounted after the Food and Drug Administration two years ago issued a safety communication about the problem and required updated product labeling.