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British Columbia files lawsuit against 40 opioid manufacturers and distributors
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British Columbia files lawsuit against 40 opioid manufacturers and distributors

The Canadian province of British Columbia filed a class action lawsuit [press release] Wednesday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia [official website] targeting 40 pharmaceutical manufacturers, including maker of OxyContin Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit aims to recover opioid-related costs incurred by the government’s healthcare system in the midst of the opioid epidemic.

“In court, we will argue that these drug companies deceptively marketed their products knowing full well the potential consequences, and as a result, British Columbia has incurred great costs,” British Columbia Attorney General David Eby [official website] said in the statement.

The release also announced legislation to be introduced this fall session to address opioid damages and healthcare cost recovery, similar, the release said, to “legislation that supported ‘Big Tobacco’ litigation in 1998.”

This is the first lawsuit filed by a Canadian province, following similar ones filed by several US states and cities, including MassachusettsKentucky [JURIST reports] and several others [JURIST news archive].