Class Action Launched On Behalf Of Canadian Users Of Abilify And Abilify Maintena

TORONTO, JUNE 7, 2016 - ROCHON | GENOVA LLP has commenced a proposed national class action on behalf of Canadian users of the prescription drugs Abilify and Abilify Maintena.

Abilify is an antipsychotic medication indicated for the treatment of Schizophrenia, Bipolar I Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Since its approval in 2009, Abilify has become one of the most widely prescribed antipsychotic drugs in Canada and worldwide, with the number of Canadian prescriptions increasing from approximately 3000 in 2010 to over 1 million in 2013.

Dopamine agonists such as Abilify and Abilify Maintena have been scientifically linked to an increase in compulsive behaviours, including compulsive gambling, binge-eating, compulsive shopping/spending, and hypersexuality. A safety review conducted by the European Medicines Agency established a connection between Abilify use and compulsive gambling, resulting in revisions to the European product labeling in October 2012. No warning was included in the Canadian product monograph for Abilify until November 2, 2015 when Health Canada confirmed the link between the use of Abilify and an increased risk of compulsive gambling and hypersexuality.

The proposed class action, filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleges, among other things, that the pharmaceutical companies responsible for manufacturing and marketing Abilify and Abilify Maintena - Bristol-Myers Squibb, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck - knew, or ought to have known, that the drugs cause or materially increase the risk of developing compulsive behaviours, yet failed to disclose such risk. The claim alleges that the drug makers' failure to warn Canadians of these risks resulted in significant harm to the plaintiffs and class members.

Joel Rochon, a partner at ROCHON | GENOVA LLP, stated, "Canadians have a right to be informed about the risks associated with the prescription medication that they use. Failure to provide adequate and timely warnings can have serious consequences. In this case, the plaintiff needlessly lost over $250,000 through compulsive gambling, which ceased immediately after he stopped taking Abilify."

The claims have not yet been proven in court. For information about the proposed class action please contact Jon Sloan at (416) 363-1867 or 1-866-881-2292.

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