Canada: Great to go after one drug, but actively promote another, hmm?

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B.C. files lawsuit against opioid makers and distributors for deceptive marketing



OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. The B.C. government has announced a lawsuit against Purdue and dozens of other companies for their role in fuelling Canada’s opioid epidemic.


British Columbia is suing Purdue Pharma and dozens of other opioid manufacturers for what the government alleges was “corporate corruption and negligence” that fuelled the overdose crisis, killing thousands of Canadians.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Globe and Mail, is the first case against opioid manufacturers filed by a government in Canada. Attorney-General David Eby said he would be asking other provinces to join.

The lawsuit targets 40 manufactures and distributors, including Purdue, whose OxyContin pain pill has been implicated in triggering Canada’s opioid epidemic. The list of defendants includes brand-name and generic manufacturers and alleges they deceptively marketed opioids as both being less addictive than actually known and for conditions they were not effective in treating.

“While much attention has been focused on the effects of street drugs contaminated by illicit fentanyl and carfentanil, there is another side of this crisis,” Mr. Eby said Wednesday outside the Supreme Court of British Columbia. “We allege that Purdue was not alone in their illegal actions to drive profits.”

The allegations have not been proven in court and the companies have not yet filed statements of defence.

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