BC Closely Watching Oklahoma Opioid Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson

Victoria/Oklahoma (with files from Artstechnica) – BC Law makers including the BC Attorney General David Eby are closely watching the legal proceedings in Oklahoma.

In that state, a state judge ruled that an opioid maker (Johnson & Johnson) was partly responsible for sparking the devastating opioid crisis that has engulfed Oklahoma and North America overall.

Johnson & Johns is the maker of the opioid painkillers Duragesic and Nucynta. The judge ruled that they must pay $572 million in damages to the state of Oklahoma, which has reportedly lost more than 6,000 people to the opioid crisis since 2000.

Here in BC, we are all too familiar with the death toll from the crisis. Eby stated that in 2018, legal proceedings were launched against pharmaceutical companies similarly accountable for the harm they have done to British Columbians and for the financial burdens they have placed on our health-care system.

The 2018 FVN story can be found here.

Now to note that none of the allegations in the civil allegations have been proven in court.

The BC civil claim names the maker of OxyContin — Purdue Pharma Inc. as well as other major drug manufacturers and pharmacies, alleging they should have known the addictive nature of the drugs and the possible harm they could do.

Eby also noted that a national working group (about the class action suit) has participation from Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec, with Alberta is still deciding whether and how to lend its support

The most recent BC Coroner numbers for the first 6 months of 2019 show a slight drop in overdose deaths, in particular Fentanyl, however a corresponding drop in overdoses overall, has not fallen significantly.

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