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Abilify $19.5 Million Settlement to Net Michigan Half a Million Dollars

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Michigan will receive $497,151 as part of a settlement with pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Meyers Squibb over off-label promotion of popular drug Abilify.  The total settlement of $19.5 million involves 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Abilify is an antipsychotic medication approved for use by the FDA for use in some patients.  Bristol-Meyers Squibb marketed the drug for use in elderly adults with dementia and for children under 13.  The FDA did not approve Abilify for those purposes.  This practice, known as off-label marketing, is highly controversial because the claims made often lack rigorous scientific verification.  In the case of Abilify, off-label use can increase the risk of death in certain elderly patients and its effects on children under age 13 are unknown.  Abilify has also been linked to new impulsive behaviors such as gambling and binge eating, resulting in new warnings from the FDA.