Pfizer Optimistic About Settlement in Aussie Parkinson’s Drug Litigation
A federal court in Australia has agreed that Pfizer’s proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit over gambling and other addictions caused by its Parkinson’s disease drugs Cabaser and Dostinex is a fair compromise — but delayed accepting the proposal due to procedural matters.
Specifically, plaintiffs had not been made aware of their right to an independent review of the proposed settlement distribution or the timeframe within which they needed to do the review, the court said.
The size of the settlement was not disclosed.
Pfizer spokeswoman Christine Regan-Lindenboom says the company is hopeful that attorneys can address the right of review issue raised by the court. If the settlement isn’t approved, Pfizer will continue to litigate the case in the courts.
An October 2014 report in JAMA Internal Medicine linked cabergoline, the active ingredient in both drugs, with serious impulse control disorders, including pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping. None of the dopamine receptor agonist drugs approved by the U.S. FDA have boxed warnings about the potential effects.
In 2011, Eli Lilly reached a settlement with more than 50 claimants in Canada in a case involving a similar drug, Permax (pergolide mesylate), that also caused pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping. — Jonathon Shacat