MP Murray Rankin and MP Don Davies call for investigation in opioid crisis
October 24th, 2018 - 4:35pm
OTTAWA – The epidemic of fatal opioid overdoses has led to life expectancy falling in British Columbia for the time in decades, according to a recent report by Canada’s chief public health officer. Similar consequences can be expected across the country if the federal government continues to disregard the crisis. Today, Murray Rankin, Member of Parliament for Victoria, and Don Davies, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway, called on the Liberals to launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis in Canada, and to seek meaningful restitution for the public costs of this crisis.
“We need justice and accountability. Will the government launch now an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis?” asked MP Rankin of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons today.
This summer, the NDP government of British Columbia filed a civil lawsuit against drug companies to recoup the enormous costs incurred by that province in addressing the crisis. The US Department of Justice has already secured criminal pleas and, along with dozens of states, over $600 million in damages from opioid manufacturers for misbranding offences in that country. Yet the federal Liberals have not taken any steps to investigate potential violations of Canadian law or pursue civil damages.
“There are legitimate concerns that opioid manufacturers may have marketed these products to Canadians and doctors in a manner inconsistent with federal law,” said MP Davies. “The fact that the US government has taken steps to pursue criminal and civil damages provides a strong basis to do so in Canada.”
“It’s time to launch a federal investigation to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis,” concluded MP Rankin. “The Liberal government can and should immediately seek an investigation into the conduct of these companies and take action, if warranted, under federal law.”
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