Patient Loses $514k After Drug Induced Gambling Spree

A 70 year-old Italian man suffering from Parkinson’s disease is now suing his doctors, after the drug he was prescribed allegedly turned him into a gambling fiend.
Paolo Chisci from Carrara, Italy took the drug ‘dopamine agonists’ between 1999 and 2005, which had the effect of reducing the symptoms of his degenerative condition, such as shaking and slowness of movement.
However, it is now well known that ‘dopamine agonists’ also has many other peculiar side-effects, too, which may include a pathological addiction to gambling, shopping, or internet pornography.
However, these unfortunate side-effects were not included with the medicine’s explanatory leaflet until 2005, by which time Mr Chisci had changed from being a regular saver to having an uncontrollable gambling addiction.
Consequently, the retired shopkeeper who had never gambled before found himself playing slot machines and purchasing as many as 500 lottery scratch cards in a day, just a few short hours of taking the drug. Paolo Chisci claims he has lost around €300,000 ($514,000) as a direct result of the drug and is now seeking to have the sum returned to him by the doctors who prescribed to him the drug. Also the drugs manufacturers, Eli Lilly and Boeringher Ingelheim are believed to have been summoned to give evidence in court.
Commenting on the extraordinary case, his lawyer Riccardo Lenzetti said:
“We have carried out a through examination through psychiatrists on our client which show before he started taking the drugs he was a regular saver..However he then started spending almost all his monthly pension on gambling and then also began borrowing from his friends and was unable to pay them back which has resulted in his social standing being affected.”
In what is believed to be a first for Europe, a court hearing is now scheduled for February 8th to rule on the drug. However, in the United States there have already been some high profile cases involving ‘dopamine agonists’ including that of  Gary Charbonneau who received $8.2 million in damages after the court accepted he had become a compulsive gambler after taking the drug.

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