Didier Jambart, the married father of two who’s convinced a GlaxoSmithKline drug for his Parkinson’s Disease made him a gay sex and gambling addict, finally had his day in court — in a case we first heard about back in 2007. Jambart, a 52-year-old French defense ministry employee, wants more than $600,000 in compensation for the unlisted side effect.
What sounds like a drug regimen that was more akin to taking speed quickly turned into one of wearing women’s clothes, trolling the web for sex, and trying to take his own life, Jambart argued in court.
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.
As for GSK? It’s not as if they’re about to admit any wrongdoing.
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.
But before you laugh off Jambart’s claims as some get rich quick scheme, or some lengthy ordeal he’s undertaken to mask his sexuality, consider:
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.
We’re expected to get a ruling in Jambert’s case today. The PnP bears on Manhunt are waiting with bated breath.