full article here
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was today accused of producing a ‘defective’ Parkinson’s Disease drug which turned a happily married father into a gay sex addict.
Didier Jambart, 52, appeared before a court in the French city of Nantes, to demand £390,000 in compensation from the company.
He began taking ReQuip tablets in 2003 after he was prescribed it to treat Parkinson’s disease, but then his behaviour changed beyond recognition.
Mr Jambart became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing.
His dangerous sexual encounters led to him being raped, he claimed.
‘After first taking the drugs I was bursting with energy,’ said Mr Jambart. ‘I would get up at four in the morning and run ten-and-a-half kilometers, but later, it went more than too far.
‘My life was ruined, my family and I were treated like we had the plague.’
Mr Jambart said he became so depressed that he attempted suicide eight times.
‘I have to take this matter to court – it may be a David and Goliath struggle but after all I’ve been through I want to get my dignity back,’ he said.
ReQuip – which is also known as Ropinirole - was known to produce strange side effects on some users, but a warning only appeared on its package in 2006 – a year after Mr Jambart started taking it, said Mr Jambart’s lawyers.
Jacques-Antoine Robert, a lawyer representing GlaxoSmithKline in the case, said scientific knowledge at the time of Mr Jambart’s problems did not suggest ‘any indication of the effects of Ropinirole’.
He admitted there was a possibility of an ‘extremely rare reaction’ but said that the evidence did not point to his GlaxoSmithKline producing a ‘defective drug’, as Mr Jambart’s lawyers claim.
Jacqueline Houdayer, the president of the CADUS patients’ aid group in France, said she had been contacted by 100 other people who had suffered similar side effects to Mr Jambart.
Last year former British IT manager Peter Shepherd, 60, ended up in court after he underwent an astonishing personality change when prescribed Cabergoline – another Parkinson’s disease drug - by his GP in 2001.
Mr Shephard told how he became a sex-crazed transvestite and blew 400,000 pounds on a luxury lifestyle.
A judgement in the Didier Jambart case is expected today.