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Canada: Provincial govt. files lawsuit against drug manufacturers & pharmacies over their alleged contribution to opioid epidemic

Author: Peter Robb, ipolitics (Canada), Published on: 29 August 2018

"B.C. first government in Canada to sue drug companies over opioids", 29 Aug 2018

British Columbia launched a 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 lawsuit is the first of its kind in Canada...It also targets pharmacies, including Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and its owner Loblaw Companies Ltd., claiming they should have known the quantities of opioids they were distributing exceeded any legitimate market...B.C. remained the province hardest hit by the opioid crisis...The province declared a public health emergency in 2016.  The notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court names 40 defendants...B.C. is bringing the action on behalf of a class representing all federal, provincial and territorial governments and agencies, which...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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Other drug manufacturers named in the suit include Apotex Inc., Janssen Inc., Mylan N.V., Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Sandoz Canada Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc. and Valeant Canada LP.  Most of the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  Teva said it does not comment on ongoing litigation and Sandoz said it has not seen the lawsuit and was not in a position to comment.  Janssen said its actions in the marketing and promotion of opioids were “appropriate and responsible.”...

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Related companies: Apotex Janssen Pharmaceutica (part of Johnson & Johnson) Loblaw Companies Mylan Laboratories Purdue Pharma Ranbaxy Laboratories Teva Pharmaceutical