What needs to change in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry
2020-01-10 from ctvnews.ca
TORONTO -- 2019 was the year of the drug company. And not in a good way.
The year’s headlines pointed to shocking rates of opioid addiction and death, looming drug shortages, class-action lawsuits, fears over climbing drug prices, and concerns about the cozy relationship between drug makers and health-care providers.
CTVNews.ca reached out to a number of experts to talk about what needs to change in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.
Opioid makers and distributors face thousands of lawsuits across North America launched by provinces, states, cities and hospitals that allege the companies knowingly lied about their products and created a public health crisis when people became widely addicted to the narcotic painkillers, with some turning to deadly illegal drug sources in desperation.
The first of those suits went to trial in the U.S. this year but many more are waiting in the wings.
On Dec. 12, Ontario announced it was joining a B.C.-led lawsuit against dozens of opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma, makers of Oxycontin, as well as other major drug manufacturers, and Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and its owner Loblaw Companies Ltd. The untested lawsuit also includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
There is another $1.1-billion class action underway in Ontario on behalf of more than 2,000 patients that names more than two dozen companies, including some of the biggest players in Canada’s pharmaceutical industry – Apotex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson and Johnson, and the Jean Coutu Group.
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