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$8.2 Million Judgement in First Mirapex Lawsuit | cialis online

$8.2 Million Judgement in First Mirapex Lawsuit

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A man who blamed his compulsive gambling on the Parkinson’s Disease drug Mirapex was awarded an $8.2 million judgment against the drug’s makers. Gary Charbonneau, who began taking Mirapex in December 1997, said he suffered from a gambling addiction from March 2002 to February 2006. In that period of time, he gambled away $260,000.  The verdict, announced Thursday, was first reported by Mealey’s Emerging Drugs & Devices.

Mirapex, one of a class of drugs known as dopamine agonists, has long been suspected of causing compulsive behavior. The suspicion was bolstered in June, when researchers investigating the link between dopamine agonists and compulsive behavior presented their findings at International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders conference in Chicago. The study, which looked at more than 3,000 patients from 46 medical centers in the United States and Canada, found that Parkinson’s patients on dopamine agonists are nearly three times more likely to have at least one impulse-control disorder – including gambling addiction – compared with patients receiving other treatments.

Charbonneau’s Mirapex lawsuit was the first of more than 300 to go to trail in the Mirapex multidistrict litigation in the US District Court in Minneapolis that blame the Parkinson’s Disease drug for causing compulsive gambling. It was considered a bellweather case, and was being watched by many to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the other Mirapex lawsuits.

Charbonneau’s lawsuit claimed that the drug’s makers, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim, knew about its potential to cause compulsive behavior, but never warned patients.

The defendants argued that Charbonneau’s gambling problem started years after he began treatment with Mirapex, and continued long after he stopped taking the drug. The also argued that they were not liable for Charbonneau’s addiction because the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had not asked for any label changes, despite reports that Mirapex was causing compulsive behavior.

The jury, however, did not buy those arguments, and awarded Charbonneau all of his gambling losses, along with $7.8 million in punitive damages. Neither Pfizer nor Boehringer Ingelheim have commented on Thursday’s verdict, but an appeal is likely.

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