Skip to main content

Purdue Pharma says it has followed all of Health Canada’s regulations, including those governing marketing, after British Columbia filed a lawsuit this week trying to recoup the health-care costs of the opioids crisis.

The lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia names the OxyContin-maker and other major drug manufacturers.

Purdue Pharma (Canada) also says it has adhered to the code of ethical practices as a member of Innovative Medicines Canada, a pharmaceutical industry organization that works with governments, insurance companies and health-care professionals.

Story continues below advertisement

British Columbia launched its proposed class-action lawsuit Wednesday against dozens of pharmaceutical companies, alleging they falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other pain drugs and helped trigger an overdose crisis that has killed thousands.

The notice of civil claim names 40 defendants.

Statements of defence have not been filed and none of the allegations contained in the civil claim has been proven in court.

Nearly 4,000 Canadians died from apparent opioid overdoses last year. B.C. remained the province hardest hit, with 1,399 deaths, according to Statistics Canada.

B.C. is bringing the action on behalf of a class representing all federal, provincial and territorial governments and agencies, which during the period of 1996 until now paid health care, pharmaceutical and treatment costs related to opioids.

The class period begins in 1996 when Purdue first introduced and began to market OxyContin in Canada.

“Purdue Pharma (Canada) is deeply concerned about the opioids crisis, in British Columbia, and right across Canada,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Story continues below advertisement

“The opioids crisis is a complex and multi-faceted public health issue that involves both prescription opioids and, increasingly, illegally produced and consumed opioids, as indicated in Health Canada’s latest quarterly monitoring report. All stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry, have a role to play in providing practical and sustainable solutions.”

The company said it is reviewing the civil claim filed by the B.C. government.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter