Gabriel Villafane was the only one in France to prescribe nicotine to his patients to help reduce their treatments and support the pain. Also consulted by foreigners, he is a graduate of Henri Mondor University Hospital.
Some are shaking. Others seem to hesitate before each gesture. For the most part, they did not make an appointment.
In the waiting room of Dr. Villafane At Henri Mondor Hospital in Créteil, Alain, Corinne, Olivier, Françoise and the others, simply came with flowers. Twenty other bouquets were sent on Tuesday. The last day of this Parkinson's disease specialist, licensed from the public institution.
A tragedy for his patients who for more than 12 years sometimes came from all over France to be prescribed nicotine patches in addition to their treatment. " It is the only doctor in France who tests the correct dosages for each patient, tells Corinne. And we are at least 600 coming for that. When I was diagnosed with 2010 disease I was 36 years old and my world collapsed. I was told on the phone that both hemispheres of my brain were affected. I was a doctor myself, I knew what that meant ».
Just after this announcement, Corinne stops working, delegates more and more to her husband and children. While searching the forums, she learns two years later that nicotine relieves pain and allows for fewer tablets. It does not take more than that, since Grenoble, she goes to Paris to see Dr. Villafane who prescribes for more than 10 years.
For its part, the practitioner made 2000 a first conclusive clinical test. The second study in 2013 is more nuanced. " But that's mainly because nobody controlled the placebo effect "Says Dr. Villafane.
In June 2016, when Corinne can not get an appointment with him, the hospital replies that the tests are completed " no benefit for patients "," nicotine in Parkinson's disease is not prescribed [...] according to the guidelines of the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines) ". June 26, a letter of dismissal is sent to Dr. Villafane for " inappropriate professional positioning within the service ", With the words" non-prescription nicotine prescription in particular ".
The 25 July, the Director General of Health at the Ministry Benoît Vallet, wrote him to thank him for the good transmission of the list of his patients. He adds that if these " do not want to interrupt their nicotine treatment It is always possible to prescribe compassionately, " as well as [the him] confirmed the ANSM ».
Contacted, the hospital and the Ministry have not yet responded. The AP-HP, confirmed that appointments with other doctors had been offered to patients.