Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, is calling on the Trudeau government to join B.C. to take civil legal action pharmaceutical companies. (File photo)

MacGregor and NDP demand action against pharmaceutical companies

International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 31

On the eve of International Overdose Awareness Day, the federal NDP is calling on the federal government to join B.C. to take civil legal action against pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis on behalf of Canadians, and investigate whether criminal charges are warranted.

The NDP’s call for action comes on the heels of Johnson & Johnson, the American pharmaceutical giant, being ordered to pay $572 million U.S. for fuelling the opioid crisis south of the border.

RELATED STORY: OKLAHOMA OPIOID RULING COULD PRESSURE PHARMA COMPANIES TO SETTLE IN B.C.: EXPERTS

Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, said the Liberal government has so far refused to take on pharmaceutical companies over the ongoing crisis after meeting with them 875 times.

“Throughout my riding, I’ve spoken to numerous parents, siblings, spouses, and friends who have lost their loved ones to the opioid epidemic,” MacGregor said.

“The number of opioids prescribed in Canada is one of the highest in the world, at 21.3 million prescriptions filled in 2017. This decision in the U.S. leaves us to wonder if opioid manufacturers also marketed these products to Canadians and Canadian doctors in a way that skirted federal law.”

MacGregor noted that Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, and that the federal government has declined to join British Columbia’s legal action to seek compensation from drug companies for the costs of addressing the opioid crisis.

“To date, the government has taken no steps to investigate the role that drug companies may have played in fuelling the opioid crisis,” he said.

RELATED STORY: MACGREGOR WANTS TO SEE OPIOID CRISIS RECOGNIZED AS NATIONAL EMERGENCY

“It’s time to launch civil action, and a federal investigation to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis,” said MacGregor.

“Families who lost a loved one to this crisis deserve answers.”

MacGregor and the NDP have vowed, if elected, to immediately declare a public health emergency and launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fuelling the opioid crisis.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

Cowichan resident with dementia breaks silence on stigma in Alzheimer Society campaign

“I don’t think I’ve encountered stigma as much as I’ve encountered a lack of understanding”

Cowichan’s Achurch named all-star MVP

LMG goalie and teammate Scott help VISL beat FVSL

Indian Day School survivors can now submit claims for $10K-$200K in compensation

Anyone who is part of the class action is being encouraged to start the process now

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read