The opioid crisis has taken so much from Canadians.
It’s taken our friends, family, and neighbours from us, and it’s made our home less safe.
We can’t get their lives back, but we can make a difference for those who are still struggling. That starts with funding the changes we all need.
What if some of that money could come from the companies that helped cause the harm?
BC settled with Purdue Canada back in July for $150 million. The settlement was for Purdue Canada’s part in making doctors think OxyContin wasn’t as addictive as it is. Now, the federal government could be getting on board.
BC is expanding its class-action lawsuit to include 40+ other drug companies named in the Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. And they’re opening it to allow the federal government to join the suit.
The case is also being altered to ensure that officers of the corporate defendants can also be held accountable for their role in all this.
That’s super important. The people who made big bucks while regular people died must be held responsible for their actions.
But it’s also important to remember that prescription opioids are only part of the drug crisis. Prescription pain medicine can be how folks get hooked on drugs in the first place. But toxic street drugs are also killing people.
Toxic drug deaths have more than doubled since 2016 when the government first announced a public health crisis. A VanIsle leader proposed strategies like a safe drug supply. But the federal government voted it down.
If BC’s class-action lawsuit is successful, then maybe drug bigwigs will think twice about how they sell dangerous products.
And maybe the settlement funds could go toward helping folks whose lives have been changed forever by drugs they got from doctors or the street.