Pfizer offers settlement over drug alleged to have caused gambling addictions
The Guardian newspaper reports that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is about to offer compensation to more than 150 Australian patients, who say they developed gambling and sex addictions as a consquence of taking the company's Cabaser medication for Parkinson's Disease.
The offer is subject to court approval, where the 150 plaintiffs have launched a class action, claiming that they were not warned of the side effects of the drug, which was launched in 2008.
The matter had been set down for hearing in the Australian federal court early next year.
Pfizer has confirmed that it has proposed a settlement, but has not commented further at this stage.
The Australian law firm Arnold Thomas & Becker is advising the plaintiffs, who claim that despite never having been problem gamblers, they began gambling away thousands of dollars after being prescribed the drug Cabaser.
Bill Madden, the national practice group leader for Slater & Gordon's medical law division, said Tuesday:.
"There have been cases where settlements have not been approved by the federal court and it would be wise to wait to see what the court has to say.
"It's interesting legally because of the peculiar effects of the drug, but there were similar claims made about the sleep medication Stillnox and that didn't really seem to go anywhere.
"However, it would be good to see a case like this settled outside of court, because it would save everyone involved a lot of time and a lot money."
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