43 states reach settlement for the drug Abilify

The state of Tennessee, along with 42 others, has reached a settlement with drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for the drug Abilify. Attorneys general from 43 states reached the settlement with the company for a total of $19.5 million.

The settlement comes from claims that the drug manufacturer violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

According to the claims, Bristol-Myers Squibb improperly marketed the drug Abilify, which is an antipsychotic medicine. As part of the settlement with the 43 states, Bristol-Myers Squibb must refrain from making misleading or false claims about the drug. This includes the safety of the drug and its efficacy when being compared to other drugs.

Abilify is just the brand name for the drug, which is actually aripiprazole. The drug was first approved for treating schizophrenia by the Food and Drug Administration back in 2002. Prior to the FDA approval, Bristol-Myers Squibb promoted Abilify as a drug to treat children and those with symptoms mirroring Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The company received a warning in 2006 stating that elderly patients treated with antipsychotic drugs had an increased risk of death if they had dementia-related psychosis.

The settlement claims that Bristol-Myers Squibb made false claims regarding the risks of Abilify by not telling the public about its limitations, which could affect how the scientific studies of the drug are interpreted.

A statement from the attorneys general said, "BMS put lives at risk when it marketed Abilify for uses not approved by the FDA. The integrity of our healthcare system depends on patients and doctors being able to trust the representations made by pharmaceutical companies."

The Tennessee Attorney General issued a separate statement from the group, saying, "Drug manufacturers are prohibited from promoting their drugs for uses that have not been approved by the FDA. By making false claims and down-playing the risks associated with this drug, the company jeopardized the health of Tennesseans and should be held accountable."

Suffering injury or illness from a drug can be stressful and costly. An experienced defective drugs attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, can inform you of your rights.

Source: The Orange Leader, "Texas and 42 States Reach $19.5 Million Settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company," Dec. 21, 2016

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