Italian Pensioner sues two drugs companies after claiming their pills turned him into gambling addict
PISA, ITALY – A pensioner from a small town near Pisa is taking two drugs companies to court as he believes that the pills he was prescribed to fight the effects of Parkinson’s Disease turned him into a gambling addict. He has lost €302,000 (£256,000) since taking the pills and claims to have played as many as 500 lottery scratch cards per day.
Paolo Chisci, 70, claims that he never gambled before in his life, and that doctors failed to warn him of possible side effects of the drugs he was being prescribed. The companies he is suing are Boehringher and Ely Lilly as well as his local health authority.
Having never gambled before in his life, Mr Chisci claims that he was playing fruit machines and scratch cards within hours of taking his first pills.
Chisci is looking to reclaim the money he lost as the companies failed to warn him of potential side effects of the drugs, one of which is compulsive gambling (which was not mentioned until 6 years after he started taking the drugs).
According to the Daily Mail, “Lawyers representing Chisci say he took the drugs between 1999 and 2005 but the gambling side effects – which are known – were not mentioned on the leaflet with the tablets until six years ago.”
In 2008 Gary Charbonneau, a retired police officer from Milwaukee, was awarded $8.2 million in damages after successfully arguing that drugs he had been prescribed to control Parkinson’s Disease had also turned him into a gambling addict.
There are several cases ongoing in the United States but the Italian case is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe although the side effects of the medication are well known.
A recent study in Scotland found that ten per cent of patients prescribed drugs to control the effects of Parkinson’s had become compulsive gamblers.
source: The Daily Mail
Published: January 6, 2011