Rob Williams – The Independent Nov 30, 2012
A French appeals court has upheld a ruling ordering GlaxoSmithKline to pay €197,000 (£159,000) to a man who claimed a drug given to him to treat Parkinson’s turned him into a ‘gay sex addict’.
Didier Jambart, 52, was prescribed the drug Requip in 2003 to treat his illness.
Within two years of beginning to take the drug the married father-of-two says he developed an uncontrollable passion for gay sex and gambling – at one point even selling his children’s toys to fund his addiction.
He was awarded £160,000 in damages after a court in Rennes, France, upheld his claims.
The ruling, which is considered ground-breaking, was made yesterday by the appeal court, which awarded damages to Mr Jambart.
Following the decision Mr Jambart appeared outside the court with his wife Christine beside him.
Jambart broke down in tears as judges upheld his claim that his life had become ‘hell’ after he started taking Requip, a drug made by GSK.
Mr Jambart began taking the drug for Parkinson’s in 2003, he had formerly worked as a well-respected bank manager and local councillor, and is a father of two.
After beginning to take the drug he claimed he attempted to commit suicide eight times.
In total Mr Jambert said he gambled away 82,000 euros, mostly through internet betting on horse races. He also said he engaged in frantic searches for gay sex.
He started exhibiting himself on websites and arranging encounters, one of which he claimed resulted in him being raped.
He said his family had not understood what was going on at first.
Mr Jambert said he realised the drug was responsible when he stumbled across a website that made a connection between the drug and addictions in 2005. When he stopped the drug he claims his behaviour returned to normal.
“It’s a great day,” he said. “It’s been a seven-year battle with our limited means for recognition of the fact that GSK lied to us and shattered our lives.”
He added: ‘I am happy that justice has been done. I am happy for my wife and my children. I am at last going to be able to sleep at night and profit from life. ‘
He added that the money awarded would, ‘never replace the years of pain.’
The court heard that Requip’s side-effects had been made public in 2006, but had reportedly been known for years.
Mr Jambert said that GSK patients should have been informed earlier.