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BC Liberal criticises opioid lawsuit for focusing too heavily on drugmakers

Published on 07/09/18 at 11:26am

The British Columbia Liberal opposition Critic for Mental Health and Addictions has tweeted that the lawsuits seeking damages from pharmaceutical companies involved in the opioid crisis “focuses too much attention” on drug makers.

Jane Thornthwaite tweeted: “As statistics show from last month, this crisis is only getting worse. We need immediate action to help addicts get well. To suggest that this is solely about drug companies is an overly simplistic response and focuses too much attention on one single part of the problem.”

However the centre-left Liberal party was revealed to have received more than $220,000 from eight of the companies named in a class action lawsuit against more than 40 manufacturers and distributors of opioids such as fentanyl and oxycodone.

Analysis shows that the Liberal party is a favourite for pharmaceutical companies having donated more than $600,000 to the Justin Trudeau led political party between 2005 and 2012. Meanwhile research undertaken by PressProgress showed that 5% of the Liberal Party’s total foreign and out-of-province donations from between 2015 and 2017 came from pharmaceutical companies.

Nevertheless the BC lawsuit is set to go ahead as pharmaceutical companies are accused of having “deceptively marketed their products knowing full well the potential consequences”. The opioid crisis has caused nearly 4,000 deaths in Canada having hit BC particularly hard. As such the BC government has signed a $71 million deal with the federal government aimed at improving access to treatment and recovery services for people addicted to opioids.  

Louis Goss

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