Investigate Big Pharma for their role in the Canadian Opioid Epidemic
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OxyContin was approved for introduction into the Canadian market by Health Canada in 1996. Since OxyContin’s approval and aggressive marketing campaign, rates of opioid addiction, overdose, and death have soared. While OxyContin is not the only prescription opioid contributing to deaths and addiction in Canada, Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing campaign and involvement in physician education is a clear example of how physicians can be influenced to prescribe products that may not be beneficial to their patient.
In the United States, Purdue Pharma and three current and former executives pled guilty in 2007 to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused. Although their product was marketed very similarly in Canada we have yet to see accountability on the part of Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers who were misleading regarding the risks and benefit of their product. At least one U.S. city and several U.S. counties are suing the manufacturers of prescription opioids in various filings over the past few months, and more are likely to follow.
Pharmaceutical companies who fraudulently marketed opioids in Canada should be held legally accountable and any fines paid be used for treatment and harm reduction initiatives. What is the Canadian Government waiting for in holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis?
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