British Columbia Government Sues Pharmaceutical Companies Over The Opioid Crisis

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On yesterday, August 29th, British Columbia Government, in Canada, adopted a proposal and now sues tens of pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis that’s currently affecting the country. Accordingly, the officials alleged that dozens of drug companies across Canada falsely marketed opioid-based painkillers as less addictive than other similar medications, causing the opioid crisis that killed thousands of Canadians.

The BC officials’ sue names some significant names in the national pharma industry, including Purdue Pharma Inc., Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., as well as its owners Loblaw Companies Ltd.

“Today, another three or four people will die from an overdose in British Columbia. Each and every person that we have lost has meant the world to someone who has cared about them and cared about their well-being. They were someone’s light, they were someone’s loved one, and now they are gone,” said  BC’s minister of mental health and addictions, Judy Darcy.

The opioid crisis forced the British Columbia Government to sue pharmaceutical companies

In 2017, more than 4,000 Canadians died of opioids overdoses, while British Columbia is the most affected province in Canada, totaling about 1,400 deaths in 2017, up from about 1,000 in 2016.

BC Government accused Canadian drugs companies of misleading the population with their opioid-based painkillers. According to the officials, big pharma businesses promoted their medications as less addictive, causing the opioid crisis to surge across Canada. Beside the ones mentioned above, other companies on the Government’s list are Apotex Inc., Janssen Inc., Mylan N.V., Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Sandoz Canada Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc., and Valeant Canada LP.

While the majority of the pharmaceutical companies did not come up with an official statement, Janssen Inc. considered their advertising campaigns as legal and appropriate.

“The labels for our prescription opioid pain medicines provide information about their risks and benefits, and the allegations made against our company are baseless and unsubstantiated. In fact, our medications have some of the lowest rates of abuse among this class of medications,” stated Janssen Inc.

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Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.


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