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Australian Parkinson Sufferers Sue Pharmaceutical Company for Gambling Addiction

One of the biggest lawsuits of its kind has been brought against two pharmaceutical giants Down Under by Parkinson sufferers claiming that medication has caused them to turn into gambling addicts. A class action suit was brought against Pfizer Australia and Aspen Pharmaceuticals over concerns that their drugs, Permax and Casaber caused the financial ruin due to gambling addiction of over 100 people across Australia.  The lawsuit claims that the drugs are a defective product and should have included ample warning that they could lead to addiction.

Two of these Parkinson Disease sufferers are Alan Clayton and Alan Burrows, both of who say that as soon as they started taking the drugs, they started gambling obsessively. Burrows, a 76 year old, lost $100,000 playing the poker  machines, while Clayton lost even more – $300,000. They both say that as soon as they stopped taking the drugs, their desire to gamble ended and they stopped this activity.

“I started doing something I’d never done before and go and gamble on pokies, nearly every day,” said Burrows. He also recalled how, once he started, he had to keep going by withdrawing money every hour, until he could not withdraw any more. “It was a compulsion to do it,” he said. “You become really devious, disgusting.”

After seeing a media report about the possible side effects of Casabar, Burrows quit the medication and it was only then that he could tally his losses and see the damage that had been caused. “I cried,” he said. “I cried every night for months.”

Clayton’s 73 year old partner said that the medication changed their relationship, which only got back on track once he left the medication behind. She said that she had found him gambling all his money and she couldn’t understand why. “I couldn’t drag him away,” she said. “I couldn’t stop him.”

Since the companies were sued, the drugs now come with a warning that potential side effects could include gambling addiction and increased libido, as well as other compulsive behavior.

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