The pill was supposed to make life easier for people with Parkinson’s disease, but instead, it allegedly turned some into gambling and pornography addicts.
Last week, more than 100 people filed a class action lawsuit against Pfizer Australia, claiming that one of its drugs, Cabaser, caused them to develop addictions to sex and gambling. The actual intention of the drug is to help ease the tremors caused by Parkinson’s.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “The group includes people who sustained losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars and were involved in family breakdowns as a result of compulsive gambling allegedly linked to drugs they took between 1997 and last year.”
It might sound far-fetched, but as the Morning Herald points out, similar lawsuits are being considered in Britain and Canada, and a Minnesota man was awarded more than $8 million in 2008 after the drug Mirapex, produced by Boehringer Ingelheim, turned him into a “compulsive gambler.” This drug, like the drug in question by Pfizer, works by playing with dopamine levels, and that, according to Fox News, could “produce a ‘rush’ which can cause risk-taking behavior and addictions.” Aside from the gambling, the lawsuit also asserts that the drug led some to spend an excessive amount of time looking at pornography online.
While Pfizer (Stock Quote: PFE) has not been sued for the same reason in the U.S., it has faced plenty of other lawsuits in the past. The drug company has been sued for misrepresenting drug trials and marketing drugs for conditions other than those for which they were intended.