VANCOUVER, B.C- The government of British Columbia is suing opioid drug companies.
According to an announcement made today, the class action lawsuit is aimed at opioid drug companies who have had major impacts on residents of the province through their marketing practices.
It’s aimed at recovering “millions of dollars” in health care costs linked to opioids.
“It’s time opioid drug companies take responsibility for the human and financial toll their products have taken on so many families across British Columbia,” said David Eby, Attorney General, in a government press release.
“In court, we will argue that these drug companies deceptively marketed their products knowing full well the potential consequences, and as a result, British Columbia has incurred great costs.”
More than 40 manufactures of opioids, distributers, and wholesalers are named as defendants in the suit.
“The government’s filing alleges that the companies’ practices have contributed to an epidemic of addiction, and that they placed profits over the health and safety of the public,” read the announcement.
“It claims that the companies deceived prescribers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioids, and that the companies have seriously harmed the public health-care system.”
The government will also be putting forward legislation on the matter to support the litigation, similar to legislation against “Big Tobacco” in 1998, planned to be introduced in the fall.
“I have sat with family members who have lost loved ones to overdose, and we are taking action to address the terrible impact overdose is having on the lives of our children, partners and friends,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in the release.
“Drug companies must take responsibility for their role, and need to put the lives of people ahead of profits.”