Live #EuropeanElections France Africa Culture TV Shows Fight the Fake / Live news Canada's Ontario province says will sue opioid makers Date created : 27/05/2019 – 17:06
Canadas most populous province of Ontario on Monday announced plans to sue opioid makers to recover health care costs related to the deadly addiction epidemic.
Ontarios attorney general, Caroline Mulroney, said the province will join a lawsuit launched last year by British Columbia against more than 40 opioid manufacturers and wholesalers.
“The opioid crisis has cost the people of Ontario enormously, both in terms of lives lost and its impact on health cares front lines,” Mulroney said.
She unveiled legislation to set up the legal action “to battle the ongoing opioid crisis and hold manufacturers and wholesalers accountable for their roles in it.”
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Elliott’s parliamentary assistant are expected to give more details when the legislation is announced.
More than 10,000 Canadians have died of opioid-related overdoses since 2016, according to government figures. Combatting the crisis is estimated to have cost Ottawa nearly Can$400 million (US$300 million).
The proposed lawsuit was filed by B.C. last year in an effort to recoup the health-care costs associated with opioid addictions.
Historically, opioid overdose deaths — mainly from the powerful painkiller fentanyl — were concentrated among drug addicts.
But many victims became addicted to prescribed painkillers before turning to street drugs and others were experimenting with recreational drugs for the first time.
Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have been the hardest hit provinces but the epidemic has affected every part of the country.
It names the maker of OxyContin – Purdue Pharma Inc. – as well as other major drug manufacturers, and also targets pharmacies, including Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and its owner Loblaw Companies Ltd., claiming they should have known the quantities of opioids they were distributing exceeded any legitimate market.
The British Columbia suit named opioid manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors as defendants — including Purdue, whose popular OxyContin drug has been blamed for triggering the crisis.
“These opioid manufacturers and wholesalers failed to warn doctors and the public of the dangers of opioids and marketed them as safer and less addictive than other medications when they were not,” Ontario alleged in a statement.
Mulroney said Ontario intends to invest any award from the suit in mental health and addiction services.
The Ontario government says it plans to join British Columbia's proposed class action lawsuit against dozens of opioid manufacturers.
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said on Monday that the province will introduce legislation that, if passed, would enable Ontario's participation in the suit launched late last year.
She said Ontario would invest any potential awards won from the litigation into frontline mental health and addiction services.
READ MORE: Ontario government announces central agency to oversee mental health and addictions care
British Columbia filed the proposed class action against dozens of pharmaceutical companies in a bid to recoup the health-care costs associated with opioid addiction.
The untested suit alleges the companies falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other pain drugs and helped trigger an overdose crisis that has killed thousands since OxyContin was introduced to the Canadian market in 1996.
It names the maker of OxyContin — Purdue Pharma Inc. — as well as other major drug manufacturers, and also targets pharmacies, including Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and its owner Loblaw Companies Ltd., claiming they should have known the quantities of opioids they were distributing exceeded any legitimate market.
In a separate Ontario case launched earlier this month, lawyers representing patients who became addicted to opioids filed a statement of claim seeking more than $1.1 billion in various damages from nearly two dozen companies.
That suit alleges the companies were negligent in how they researched, developed and marketed opioids starting in the 1990s.
At the same news conference, Mulroney said the Ontario government will establish an agency to oversee mental health and addictions care across the province.
She added that the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence will be a central point for oversight of care.