A former Wall Street banker who said he lost $3 million from compulsive gambling believes it was caused by a popular drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. As a result, he is suing the companies involved with the drug for his losses. The lawsuit, filed in New York State Court, accuses the privately-held German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Pharmacia & Upjohn of breach of warranty, negligence and negligent misrepresentation. The 55-year-old said that he took the drug, Mirapex, from 2002 to 2007 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and suffering hand tremors.
A spokesperson for Pfizer says the company hasn’t marketed Mirapex since 2005, when medical studies first linked the drug to compulsive behaviors, including gambling. Pfizer claims that it had “acted reasonably and appropriately during the entire time period it was involved with the drug.” Mirapex is still sold in the U.S. market and is also prescribed for restless leg syndrome. The Plaintiff, a successful banker, said that he had been a recreational gambler before being prescribed the drug. But the Plaintiff said he quickly became reckless, spending entire nights gambling over the Internet and traveling to casinos. The Plaintiff alleged that he couldn’t stop gambling without help. According to the complaint, the father of two joined a gamblers’ support group and, within five weeks of getting off Mirapex, had stopped gambling.
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