BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – Theglobemail.com reports that British Columbia has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical distributors for misleading the public about the safety of opioid drugs for two decades. The lawsuit is the first for the Canadian government, and the Attorney-General for British Columbia, David Eby, said he would be asking other Canadian provinces to join in the fight against “corporate corruption and negligence.”
Among the 40 plus defendants are big companies such as Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, and retail chains that sold the drugs. The defendants are accused of using deceptive marketing strategies that downplayed the addictiveness of opioids. Distributors are alleged to have provided Canadian hospitals and pharmacies with far more drugs than would be required by a legitimate market.
Lawsuits have also been filed in the United States. In previous cases, Purdue has admitted that their marketing was misleading. The Canadian branch of the company has not admitted fault. Purdue has argued that in Canada the company has followed all of the government rules.
The director of the BC Centre on Substance Use says that physicians went from thinking of opioids as serious and potentially dangerous drugs that were meant for cancer patients, to handing out free samples to patients suffering from minor arthritis.
The opioid crisis has hit British Columbia hard. At a minimum, 1,450 people fatally overdosed in the province in 2017. OxyContin seems to be the origin of Canada’s opioid crisis. The drug was approved in the 1990’s and became a top-selling medication. Prescriptions increased along with the rates of addiction. The illicit drug market then spiked as people turned to illicit forms of opioids.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation